Geothermal energy makes headlines in the regional Americas.
*Mexico: Oil Sector Opens to Private Producers; Energy Secretary Considering Geo Approaches
*Nicaragua: Agencies Seek Geothermal Funding
Mexican federal and state congresses have voted on historic energy reform opening the state oil sector for independent private producers to compete with the state-owned utility CFE. Luis Carlos Gutierrez Negrin, president of the Mexican Geothermal Association, told Geothermal Energy Association staff, “None of those changes are directly related to geothermal, although it will impact its future development.” Details of the energy reform are available from the Secretary of Energy at Sener.gob.mx.
“More important for the Mexican geothermal in the short term are a set of announcements that the Energy Secretary made in an International Forum held in October in Mexico City,” Negrin said. Representatives from Latin America, the United States, Iceland, Indonesia and the Philippines attended the forum, where the government discussed a potential specific geothermal act based on grants as a possibility if minor adjustments to existing laws are not enough to boost development. “They commissioned a study and plan to act in consequence,” he said. “Considering the legislative actions this federal administration has shown in the last year, I have no doubts that the geothermal panorama will be clear very soon.”
The Mexican Secretary of Energy (SENER) has allocated 958 million pesos for the Mexican Center for Geothermal Energy Innovation. The virtual collaboration effort is expected to support 30 research projects, and four of these are coordinated by the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, including heat flow mapping and training.
In Nicaragua, multilateral agencies are seeking funding to determine the potential for future projects in hopes of offering them to private investors.