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Mexico Pulls Back From ‘Green Energy,’ Begins Expanding Coal Use

Mexico Pulls Back From ‘Green Energy,’ Begins Expanding Coal Use

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is buying coal and curtailing green energy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSPnANg4xm0

We covered the Great Plains winter storm last week, which cut power and impacted many states’ water supplies, especially Texas.

However, the storm did not just impact the U.S. The storm left over five million customers in northern Mexico without power as a shortage of natural gas disrupted electricity production.

Mexico’s government-owned utility, the Federal Electricity Commission, said its operations were left short as the winter storm in Texas froze natural gas pipelines. It said some private power plants also began shutting down Sunday night. Private plants supply about 80% of power in northern Mexico.

Mexico uses gas to generate about 60% of its power, compared to about 40% in the United States. Mexico built pipelines to take advantage of cheap natural gas from the U.S., often obtained by fracking in Texas, but Mexico does not allow fracking in its own territory.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders to restrict natural gas exports during the crisis resulted in the need for some diplomatic work.

Mr. Abbott’s order has heightened tensions between the two countries, with top Mexican officials protesting the governor’s decision to cut off gas supplies just as Mexico works to resolve its own mass power outages as a result of the frigid weather.

“We are doing our diplomatic work so that this doesn’t happen,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico said at a news conference on Thursday, referring to Mr. Abbott’s order. “This wouldn’t just affect Mexico — it would also affect other states in the Union.”

Perhaps that is why Mexico’s president is now turning toward coal and diverting focus from green energy.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as Amlo, has unveiled plans to buy nearly 2m tons of thermal coal from small producers like Rivera. He also plans to reactivate a pair of coal-fired plants on the Texas border, which were being wound down as natural gas and renewables took a more prominent role in Mexico’s energy mix.

Not only is López Obradorbetting big on fossil fuels, he is also curtailing clean energy.

The populist president has promoted a vision of energy sovereignty, in which state-run bodies – the oil company Pemex and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) – pump petroleum and generate electricity. Private players, which have heavily invested in clean energy, are relegated to a secondary role in López Obrador’s vision – while emissions and climate commitments are an afterthought.

“Instead of thinking of a transition from coal and fossil fuels, he’s thinking of using more coal and petroleum,” said Adrián Fernández Bremauntz, director of Iniciativa Climática de México, an environmental organisation.

And while it may not win him any “green energy awards,” Obrador’s decision may win him the support of Mexicans, who will be grateful not to be so dependent on a neighbor that is likely to be even less reliable in the future.

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Comments

This is no hyperbole: the Uniteds States has become a banana republic.

The left has won. We need to get the hell out, via secession.

Our Supreme Court Goes Full Nicaragua in PA Election Case:

“Our Supreme Court is now no more an agent of a free people than similar courts are in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua. Our nation is becoming ungovernable, because there is no reason for a thinking person to have any respect for our institutions like the FBI, The Justice Department, or our courts on any level. We are facing dark days indeed.”

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/02/our_supreme_court_goes_full_nicaragua_in_pa_election_case.html

    The salient point is that the left is coming after us, they couldn’t care less where we go. If we could make it illegal for the left to follow us into the promised land, why couldn’t we make it illegal for them to live among us now?

    JusticeDelivered in reply to TheFineReport.com. | February 23, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    On the issue of coal, I don’t see why plants cannot be designed to burn both coal and natural gas. I also cannot understand why coal shouldn’t be used for short term backup purposes. It’s being a dirty fuel source should not be a big deal under those conditions. Total pollution would low under those circumstances.

    There was a time when I needed to protect some utilities from freezing. I dug a shallow hole 9′ wide, laid 2″ 4’x8′ high density foam sheets in the trench, and backfilled. End of freezing problem.

    This would work very well in Texas and Mexico.

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, you’ve convinced us.

    Why don’t you leave not and make the arrangements, and the rest of us here on LI will catch up later.

    Go now, hurry. Time’s a’ wastin’.

Shortsighted

    Ironclaw in reply to mark311. | February 23, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    Practical, green energy fails when you need it the most.

      mark311 in reply to Ironclaw. | February 23, 2021 at 7:00 pm

      That’s not remotely true. Ask the Norwegians. They have something like 98% renewable energy and black outs are rare. The UK has an increasing amount of renewable standing at over 40% and so far so good.

      If you are going to cite Texas as your come back think again. That was a design issues with regard to the cold conditions. Which we know because all power generation had issues including the primary form of power generation (gas).

        Norway gets 98%+ from geothermal and hydropower dams.

        Don’t try to gaslight us by injecting this into a conversation about wind and solar.

          mark311 in reply to Paul. | February 24, 2021 at 2:06 am

          That’s partly true, but still makes the point that if renewables are used then countries can make it work. Norway has invested in its renewables and is clearly fortunate in terms of hydro. Norway hade a fortune exporting North sea oil to everyone else in other words good management taking a long term view.

          Mim Moco in reply to Paul. | February 24, 2021 at 7:09 am

          Norway also has a thriving oil industry in the North Sea.

          thunderchuck in reply to Paul. | February 24, 2021 at 11:28 am

          Thank you?! I am familiar with yours and the Netherlands good fortune in the area of Geothermal Energy. Though most people in America today have a worldview that extends not much further than their property line or whatever they see on the news or internet. It’s way past the time to make a decision on what country you’re going to make your new home when America is no more.You are fortunate to live in an area of the world where the government shows great foresight and international restraint. America forgot in 1948 when they passed the National Security Act that sometimes somethings are just none of our business!?

          mark311 in reply to Paul. | February 24, 2021 at 2:43 pm

          @mim moco

          True it does have a thriving oil industry but being clever they export practically all of it. Now they have the largest sovereign fund in the world worth over $1trillion.

          mark311 in reply to Paul. | February 24, 2021 at 2:45 pm

          @thunderstruck

          I live in the UK, but have considered at various times moving to Norway. I do admire them very much, they see to plan ahead as a country which is a rare trait for any government. The UK didn’t use the North sea oil wealth at all wisely as far as I can tell

        gibbie in reply to mark311. | February 23, 2021 at 7:47 pm

        mark, You are profoundly ignorant about what happened in Texas. Perhaps this article will help you.

        Assigning Blame for the Blackouts in Texas
        https://judithcurry.com/2021/02/18/assigning-blame-for-the-blackouts-in-texas/

          mark311 in reply to gibbie. | February 24, 2021 at 2:12 am

          I read the article it was very interesting but it’s telling that it’s written by someone who clearly states that they used to be a planning engineer a couple of decades ago. They don’t actual analyse the issues that occurred in Texas nor do they reflect on the stats. There are some good points about specific design criteria that would have improved the situation.

          The fact remains that cold weather cause gas to lose half of its generation capacity, along with failures in half the wind capacity and failure in coal and nuclear. What caused that the design of the system to accommodate the cold weather event that happened. Nothing in the article changes that fact.

          The article does point out that capacity is an important part of any grid system and yes wind won’t provide that. That’s well known and understood. The requirement then is either to create power generation which doesn’t have carbon emissions or create battery solutions as a long term goal.

        Ironclaw in reply to mark311. | February 23, 2021 at 10:50 pm

        I guess you weren’t paying attention to Texas for the last couple of weeks. Green energy failed, bigtime. Then the communist pedophile in the White House did not allow them to spin up additional non-green generation to compensate because of ecological standards. Apparently, not making more carbon dioxide is more important to the communist pedophile Buyden* than the life of your family.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Ironclaw. | February 23, 2021 at 9:21 pm

      It only fails because those doing the engineering, or more likely management, cut corners.

    stablesort in reply to mark311. | February 23, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    Not all of us have X-ray vision…

    More brilliant commentary from mark311.

    How does he do it?

Right on Pres. Obrador.

The laundered, renewable, socially inoculated profits to be redistributed with the prophecy of [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] climate cooling… warming… change are at risk.

Once you go rational and practical… Save a bird, a bat, whack a wind turbine. Sequester the photovoltaic panels, and clear the Green Blight. Nuclear with reprocessing, for safe, reliable energy production and improved quality of life. People… persons, first, then reconcile. Don’t be green, go green, not Green.

The problem, in part, is that so-called “green” energy is notoriously gray, as are most energy production and conversion technologies. And, more so, is an unreliable resource, suitable as a niche solution.

Katy L. Stamper | February 23, 2021 at 6:12 pm

Obrador: Smart man.

Unlike Texas, doesn’t need to see disaster twice to act.

    The problem for Texas, is that the market has evolved through secular incentives to undermine the viability of their energy production. Even though Green converters are a fraction of their total capacity, the instabilities in the grid have direct and indirect, present and forward-looking, consequences (e.g. electric motor driven pipelines) for their economy, consumers, and quality of life.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to n.n. | February 23, 2021 at 9:34 pm

      Most of the grid is old, and it is overloaded. Renewable energy lowers stress on the grid, and there is an efficiency advantage from shorter transmission distances.

      Battery technology has greatly improved, and has reached the point of being economically viable.

      Power buyback is in many areas a fraud, were utilities take high value peak load power and give back low value off peak power. With viable battery technology, just storing power for your own use is a better approach.

      In addition to battery storage, energy can be stored as ice or hot water to align production time and use.

        The grid needs power generation in various places that are required by physics. The is a small (100 Megawatt) fossil fuel plant in a city served by a company I will not name. The bean counters hate it. They want to remove it. The engineers have to repeatedly explain that it has to be there to use not so much to generate power but to lower the resistance on the transmission lines to allow power from the big plants outside the city to move to the city.

        To quote Scotty, “Ya canna change the laws of physics!”

        Agreed, there are also soluble salt solutions for battery storage at scale too. The solar heating of hot water can be very handy as it still works in winter (provided no snow coverage). What you describe is a great solution when combined together and utilised as a whole.

        The Friendly Grizzly in reply to JusticeDelivered. | February 24, 2021 at 8:05 am

        Your mention of batteries brings back something I recall seeing in a 1924 issue of Scientific American. It was an advertisment from National Lead. The really nice illustration heading up the ad was of a metropolitan skyline of skyscrapers, bright streets, etc, and in the foreground, a huge room with bank after bank after bank of what were likely lead-acid batteries.

        The text of the ad described how these battery banks accumulated electricity in daylight hours and then fed the demand in the evening as people turned on lights throughoug this nameless city. The batteries provided power to meet the demand as more generators were brought on line.

        This was, of course, the days when many cities, especially in the NE, were electrified with Direct Current.

        Notable in this ad: wonderful artwork, and several paragraphs of text using words with more than two syllables, and sentences more than five words long. This was from a time when Americans had an attention span.

    Meh… hindsight is easy 20/20 for pols. You’re comparing short-term knee-jerk verbal reactions to decisions and actual results (or lack thereof) over several decades, across many administrations.

    Apples to oranges.

Katy L. Stamper | February 23, 2021 at 6:16 pm

Also, I’ve read an article stating the electric industry doesn’t care about hardening the grid against bad weather in Texas, because the cost doesn’t justify the rare occasions.

That may be true. But “regulating” it into hardening itself is not the only way. I would favor a statute that would impose a penalty against an energy company, in favor of any customer without power, without the customer causing it or a drunk driver, etc., pay the customer for each hour of outage and for those registered on medical equipment, that the energy companies be required to send a team out to move them if it allows the power to go out.

I think a fine of $1,000 per hour payable per customer would create adequate incentive for the power companies to harden their systems against cold. Geeze, I assume up in Michigan they bury the damn gas lines a little deeper.

    2021-02-18 GloBULL Freezing Stupidity

    “And pumps use electricity, so they’re not even able to lift that gas and liquid, because there’s no power to produce.”

    I don’t think legislation is necessary. Contracts with energy suppliers which require, and pay for, generating capacity rather than just energy would suffice. But that would disadvantage wind and solar providers. The current contracts disadvantage the providers of reliable energy.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Katy L. Stamper. | February 23, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    Kathy, I am a big believer in people being responsible. For 40+ years I am only slightly inconvenienced by power outages.

      Katy L. Stamper in reply to JusticeDelivered. | February 24, 2021 at 10:55 am

      I’m a lawyer. If you promise to deliver power to people, some snow and ice doesn’t void that promise.

      It’s a breach of contract and should be treated as such.

      “Oh, but the power companies weren’t serious!”

      Whatever.

    henrybowman in reply to Katy L. Stamper. | February 23, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Sure let’s add regulations to punish them for the failures of the green energy sources that previous regulations forced them to adopt. That’s the ticket. If we can just set up a balanced set of self-contradicting regulations, everything will work much more smoothly.

    I think you make a good point, the other issue was exorbinant bills from the fluctuations in electric price. There are stories of some who have had $5000 dollar bills. Nuts.

don’t tell John Kerry, he might have to fly his private jet down there and wag his finger

We’re looking south to Mexico for sane leadership decision.

Yes, that’s how far we’ve fallen with a sleepy, Gropey Joe and his cocksucking sidekick in office.

    gibbie in reply to Paul. | February 23, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    True, but Texas’ problem was self-inflicted. They got seduced by the prospect of cheap energy. It turned out that it wasn’t cheap.

      Katy L. Stamper in reply to gibbie. | February 23, 2021 at 8:01 pm

      Well, I think they wanted to be trendy, be “green…”

      Those damn windmills – – – – in West Texas… sure it’s windy there, but damn, why is it okay to kills thousands upon thousands of birds?!?! Put some oil on them, and the left would be apoplectic. As it is, I’m apoplectic!

        “…they wanted to be trendy, be “green…”

        Yes, this. In the big cities, progressive voters opted for ballot initiatives requiring larger and larger percentages of their energy come from “green” sources, and demanded the phasing out of coal and nuclear plants.

        And everybody down here simply forgot the bitter lessons of the last brutal blue norther. When they only happen every 30 or 40 years I guess it’s easy to forget.

One of the issues touched on in the article that hasn’t received comment: Mexico buys natural gas from Texas that is abundant and cheap because of fracking. Now Mexico, because the supply of Texan NG may be threatened, will build coal plants.

Why not just allow fracking in Mexico — the Mexicans then would have their own cheap NG and wouldn’t need to build expensive (and dirty) coal-fired generating plants.

And another point: from where is the coal going to come? Mexico does produce some coal, but it’s spoken for, and new coal has to come from somewhere. Will they import that from the U.S.? That would no doubt make the miners here happy.

    Mexico is mostly mountainous highlands, they don’t have many flat low-lands that would have produced the type of sedimentary rock that microscopic lifeforms get trapped in that in turn causes the formation of petroleums.

We now have proof that “Green” energy is not able to sustain the people. Wind power costs more to produce than it will ever return. Wind power is a shell game. Solar power’s return on investment is about 5 to 7 years depending on the batteries that are used. Then there is another 20 years of use as it charging power diminishes and battery replacement every 7 to 10 years. But you have to have clean panels and sunlight.

Coal and Gas need to be available. Better yet nuclear power as they can run years on fuel rods. It is better to have the power plants running at 20% power when the “green” power sources are working then crank them up to 100% when the “green” power fails.

The bigger failure is the illegitimate administration and its lack of action on this disaster. It will get worse.

    Another Voice in reply to Tsquared. | February 23, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    Which brings one to question of aptitude of asinine Gov. Cuomo in New York who has set his sites for a end result of 100% “green” electricity by 2035 placing in part hundreds of wind turbines off shore of Long Island. The solar farms are generating @ 15% capacity with the 25″ to 45″ of snow cover on the panels while our avg. Temp this past month has been a low of -2 to high of 24. Texas has nothing over this moron who is Gov. of this state.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Tsquared. | February 23, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    Power companies installed large numbers of solar panels. Now they can get new ones with 20-30% higher efficiency & put them in the same place.

    So they are replacing them. There is nothing wrong with those panels. I bought 24 panels, about 5KW, for $70 each. Return on investment is about 2-3 years.

    I was out of debt by 35 years old. Broad skills were the reason I was able to do that.

    Our forefathers were industrious and did most things for themselves. Doing that avoids a big chunk of taxes. It also makes people much less susceptible to serious social disruptions.

JusticeDelivered | February 24, 2021 at 9:39 am

For the US it is 6% of homes, I don’t know about Texas. Texas would be a good place for solar electric, batteries for power at night, and night air conditioning coming from frozen water.

    Interesting thank you, yes it would make a lot of sense for solar for Texas. I’m a little surprised they went down the wind route vs the solar route. I would imagine that Texas has considerable solar potential.

      Katy L. Stamper in reply to mark311. | February 24, 2021 at 10:56 am

      The solar ended up with snow on the panels, and not producing.

      Plus, solar fries birds. Do a search for ghastly images.

        Yes snow is definitely an issue for solar. I’d see it as part of the energy mix, it certainly isn’t a silver bullet.

        I went down a bit of a rabbit hole regarding your birds comment and came across this.

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.desertsun.com/amp/88868372

        “Some solar proponents say the industry is being unfairly targeted, pointing to the number of bird deaths from other causes as evidence. Scientists have estimated that between 365 million and 988 million birds die from crashing into buildings and windows in the United States each year. Cars are estimated to kill between 89 million and 340 million birds in the United States annually, with fossil fuel power plants responsible for about 14.5 million. A 2013 study found that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds in the continental United States each year…

        Argonne researchers estimated that large solar farms are responsible for somewhere between 37,800 and 138,600 bird deaths in the United States each year.”

        It sounds like there is definitely an issue and it’s not clear why it’s happening but on the plus side it seems like it’s less severe than other factors. What can be done to reduce those numbers I don’t know.

Wind does not always blow, the sun doesn’t always shine 12 hours a day, there is not always enough water to produce hydroelectric energy, provide water for production of food, nor protect the fish, BUT……….. The USA has over 300 years of coal reserves and achieved self sufficiency with oil and natural gas but our prior Socialist President (Obama) and the prior radical EPA wanted to screw the taxpayer even more with non cost effective and burdensome regulations like 54 MPG for automobiles that nobody wants. We have cleaned up the emissions in transportation and we would be better served by eliminating the ethanol mandate, expanding natural gas for transportation, continue development of hydro, and build reliable nuclear power plants with a reasonable permitting process. Solar, wind, and other forms of alternative energy are not sustainable energy sources without financial subsidies from tax payers that make little financial sense. Energy storage from alternative energy is still a problem. Wind and solar generation will not be able to meet the increased demand of electrification, because the land and battery storage requirements are unrealistic and technologically unfeasible. Wind and solar are basically a waste of money and provide no EC during power failures unless you are not tied to the grid and use expensive batteries Their required subsidies cannot be justified. Using coal, natural gas, petroleum, and nuclear power continue as much cheaper and sustainable solutions.
We do not need to bankrupt taxpayers and our economies for the globalist plan to place humans in their designed habitrail environments! Coal, nuclear, petroleum, and natural gas provide needed energy 24/7 without the sun or the wind as America requires. CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas, and not strong enough to be a problem. We need to focus on the enormous benefits of increased concentrations of CO2 on plant life. Unlike the highly uncertain computer climate models with political manipulated data, it is a scientific fact that our carbon emissions have dramatically greened the earth. CO2 should be viewed as an asset rather than a pollutant.

    mark311 in reply to jrcowboy49. | February 24, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    That’s a deeply flawed analysis.

    “CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas, and not strong enough to be a problem”

    In the quantities being emitted we know it is. That effect can be seen from year on year temperature rises globally. It’s also been modelled which are proving to be very accurate. There is a risk that the globe has reached a tipping point where other mechanisms kick in to exacerbate the problem. A simple example of this is sea level rises. Where the ice sheet melts it’s gone that’s that. There is no solution to remaking it.

    “it is a scientific fact that our carbon emissions have dramatically greened the earth”

    That’s not true, given the human impact on the environment large swathes of habit, including forest and jungle which are natural carbon sinks have declined.

    https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/06/global-tree-cover-loss-data-2019#:~:text=The%20tropics%20lost%2011.9%20million,today%20on%20Global%20Forest%20Watch.

    The reality is if carbon emissions aren’t cut severely (and that includes from carbon intensive energy generation) the climate as we know it will change for the worse. There are many negative impacts associated with this.

    Sorry you have an issue with high efficiency vehicles? That makes no sense. From a practical point of view it increases the range of the car and decreases your bills. Especially if you drive long distances. Besides I’d rather have an electric car, instant torque. Electric sports cars are going to be a lot of fun.

    Your comments about green energy are pretty defeatest. There is growing technological know how on how to make a renewable grid work. I do think there is a place for nuclear as a base energy supply but coal in particular has had its day. Market forces let alone gov regulation are against coal.

      Oh, fgs, mark311. You do realize that we exhale CO2, right? Why do you think genocidal population control freaks glom on to whatever the prevailing the earth is doomed, DOOOMED I say, in ten years lunacy? At some point, you completely moronic lunatics will agree that you are contributing to the earth’s demise and should stop pro-creating and stop being. You get that you are in a crazy eco-cult, right? Way more than any Trump supporter is.

      Al Gore just came out with yet another 10 year global annihilation doomsday prophesy (his last one didn’t work out too well, but hey, points for trying again . . . especially when he has gullible nutters like you believing him . . . every ten years, the next appointed doomsday that never happens).

      I’m sorry, but at what point do you think, “hey, you know, you’ve have told me the world would end in ten years . . . every ten years, yet nothing happens, nothing changes. The world doesn’t end. It kind of doesn’t even change. Like at all.” But then I see you glomming on to the next doomsday prophesy from the same losers who’ve always been wrong.

      It’s fascinating. What makes you keep buying absolute BS even after it’s proven to be absolute BS? That’s a rhetorical question, don’t answer it because you’ll just come across as even more moronic. Even I don’t want to see that.

        @Fuzzy Slippers

        I don’t mean to be rude but you clearly don’t grasp the science do you. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which means that when it’s in the atmosphere it absorbs heat. So if there is to much of this effect the earth heats up. For the last 800 thousand years or so it’s been pretty stable climate wise. Thus allowing humans a stable environment to develop in.

        There are various effects from climate change which doesn’t just include global warming btw. There is more to it than that. Climate change is already resulting in effects such as sea level rises, mass extinctions of insects, animals, fish etc. Increased flooding, more droughts, unpredictable regional effects and more.

        It’s actually pretty weird that you say climate predictions have been wrong because in terms of temperature modelling it’s looking pretty accurate.

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/climate.nasa.gov/news/2943/study-confirms-climate-models-are-getting-future-warming-projections-right.amp

        Some of the particular predictions have been pretty good too, obviously some areas haven’t been perfect but the vast majority has been observed.

        https://www.sciencenews.org/article/changing-climate-10-years-after-inconvenient-truth

        It’s a pretty in depth article so worth a read.

        I have to say Fuzzy you don’t have much to hang on anymore when it comes to climate change there is overwhelming evidence all around us of the impacts already. Climate change has been studied extensively for decades and the amount of concensus is extremely high. Those supposed scientist who don’t believe in climate change have more often than not shown to be rather poor at arguing there case.

        I also take issue with how you seem to characterise things. Not every prediction is an end of the world theory nor do people necessarily hang there hats on dated predictions. Unlike you I’m able to discern that scientific predictions have parameters and error bars.

        Your hyperbolic commentary is pretty poorly thought out. Indeed calling others morons when the entire scientific community is on their side strikes me as both rude and a tad daft.

        Instead of attacking those with different views perhaps you should engage with the science and try and understand it.

        “It kind of doesn’t even change. Like at all.”

        “What makes you keep buying absolute BS even after it’s proven to be absolute BS? That’s a rhetorical question, don’t answer it because you’ll just come across as even more moronic. Even I don’t want to see that.”

        That’s just being wilfully blind, the massive and unprecedented forest fires ring any bells, or how about the loss of sea ice which continues to diminish at pace, or maybe the increase in droughts severity, perhaps the acidification of the oceans or increases in precipitation, or let’s try a year on year rise in temperature every year for the last 20 years (approximately).

        So far from it being BS it’s absolutely observable and measurable right now.

        See responses below

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