A federal court ruled yesterday that the 15% tariff that had been imposed on solar panel imports into Mexico since 2015 must be removed.
The court’s decision came in response to an application for annulment of the duty filed by the Mexican Association of Solar Energy (Asolmex), which argued that the tariff created legal uncertainty for solar power investors.
In a statement, Asolmex said it was “happy with the decision as it returns conditions of legal certainty to the sector and guarantees the competitiveness of solar energy in Mexico.”
The 15% tariff was imposed on solar panels after the Federal Tax Administration (SAT) ruled in October 2015 that they must be reclassified as electric generators.
With yesterday’s ruling, Asolmex expects that the installation of solar panels across the country will increase.
Before the decision was handed down, the association estimated that distributed solar generation — which includes the sale of surplus solar power to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) — has the potential to generate 6,000 megawatts of energy by 2024 and could attract investment of 150 billion pesos (US $7.25 billion).
With those goals in mind, Asolmex presented a Distributed Solar Generation Initiative to the federal government last week.
The full implementation of the initiative would also enable Mexico to reduce CO2 emissions by 27 million tonnes, save 27,000 liters of water and generate 77,000 new jobs, Asolmex said.
Over the past two years, 37 large-scale solar projects have been developed and more than 160,000 homes are now powered by the sun.
However, if the objective of adding 6,000 additional megawatts to the national grid is achieved, the electricity demands of a further 1.2 million homes could be met.
That would bring a variety of economic, environmental and social benefits, the newspaper El Economista said.
It also said that “distributed solar generation has the potential to democratize access to electricity by taking advantage of the roofs of homes, businesses and industry in the whole country.”