By Vice Admiral (Ret.) Dennis McGinn, President, American Council On Renewable Energy
As a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, I know that it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive when making a decision. On the battlefield you cannot wait for 100% certainty to make a decision. The element of risk is always present when making a decision, especially investing into a project, company, or technology. It is how our markets work; how businesses get started and thrive— or fail. And despite due diligence, a few clean tech companies are among the many companies that have failed in this rocky economy. The difference with the failed clean tech companies is that they have been singled out and spotlighted by detractors as “proof” that clean energy is just too risky to invest in. This is far from the truth as financial analysts predict over a trillion dollars will be invested in the global solar industry in the next decade. Companies like Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company have committed $6 billion to U.S. wind energy. Google has invested nearly $1 billion in clean energy. And Goldman Sachs plans to invest $40 billion in renewables over the next decade.
In Tuesday's session on Renewable Energy in Mexico , Miguel Vazquez from the U.S. Commercial Service in Mexico City presented a detailed look at the challenges and opportunities for U.S. businesses wanting to market renewable solutions in Mexico . With its own presidential election looming, Vazquez says that Mexico 's renewable energy policies would likely get a boost, but warned its regulatory framework would continue to be a challenge as American businesses expand across the border.
He said things will likely be compounded by the fact that Mexico 's largest utility, CFE, has a mandate to buy the cheapest energy available. That's a policy decision that helps zero out solar all the way into the year 2026. U.S. companies are also limited in terms of how they can work with CFE, said Vazquez. Today, only power generation projects are considered, not distribution or transmission.