Sacramento, California - A recent trade mission between California and Mexico has helped strengthen partnership efforts to accelerate clean energy investment and combat climate change at the regional level.
Leaders from the California Energy Commission, Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West and the Precourt Institute for Energy, the University of California, and California businesses met with the Mexican Ministry of Energy and key representatives from the nation’s energy sector, governmental agencies, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations.
"Given the state’s border relationship and long-standing historical ties, Mexico and California are natural partners to expand clean energy investment and jointly address global climate change," said Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. "Face to face meetings between California and Mexican business leaders are producing results."
During the visit, there was an announcement of the intent to reach an agreement between SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR), a global leader in solar technology solutions headquartered in California, and the Innovation and Technology Transfer Institute of Nuevo Leon (PIIT) to promote innovation in solar energy deployment and performance in Mexico. This collaboration would include Stanford University and the Technological Institute of Monterrey (ITESM) to establish a California - Mexico co-innovation program on solar energy and its large-scale integration to the Mexican grid. The program aims to develop local capacity on applied research and development in solar energy, while fostering entrepreneurial activities at ITESM.
"The danger from greenhouse gas emissions poses true challenges and opportunities," said Mario Molina, the 1995 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry who was a keynote speaker invited by Dr. Hermann Tribukait, Representative of the Energy Sustainability Fund (Fondo de Sustentabilidad Energética, FSE), as part of the agenda of this trade mission. During this trip, the participants highlighted the need to embrace these opportunities where cross-border partners can work together to deploy cleantech solutions that foster investments, economic development and job creation, while at the same time reduce the dangerous CO2 emissions and help address climate change.
This California delegation builds on momentum from the 2014 agreement signed by California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Mexican Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell. The memorandum of understanding established a working partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. The group traveled to Mexico City and Monterrey from August 31 through September 4.
"California and Mexico cannot do it alone," said Blas L. Pérez Henríquez from Stanford University. "But this relationship can serve as an example for other governments around the globe as we work together to encourage clean technology development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in North America."
Highlights of the trade mission include discussions of Mexico’s energy reforms, the development of a regulatory framework for Mexico’s energy sector, investment and research opportunities in clean technology, and strategic plans to address environmental concerns and climate change. The visit included meetings with Mexico's Electric Utility CEO Dr. Enrique Ochoa (Comisión Federal de Electricidad), and keynote remarks by Undersecretary for Electricity of the Ministry of Energy of Mexico, Dr. César Hernández. A series of roundtable discussion with federal government officials, business leaders and NGOs were hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE). At NAFIN, Mexico’s national development bank, the delegation interacted with business leaders in clean tech and energy finance. In addition, local officials from the state of Jalisco, the state of Nuevo León and the Mexico City government discussed future collaborations. Provost Dr. Eduardo Bárzana of UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) hosted Chair Weisenmiller, who delivered a keynote speech titled "Energy, the Environment, and Climate Change: The Road Ahead" at UNAM's School of Chemistry, as part of FSE's Lectures Series "The Future of Energy."