18 Oct 2022

Mexican President Outlines Renewable Energy Push Ahead of Kerry Visit

18 Oct 2022  by   

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico September 30, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador outlined goals to turn a northwestern agricultural state into a green energy center on Monday, ahead of a visit later this month by U.S. climate envoy John Kerry.

The plan focuses on expanding solar energy capacity and lithium production in the state of Sonora, where Lopez Obrador said he hoped to meet with Kerry, possibly at a solar plant under construction in the coastal city of Puerto Penasco in the state of Sonora.

Lopez Obrador said the plan envisions the construction of four or five new solar plants, which would have the same productive capacity as the Puerto Penasco plant.

"It's a comprehensive plan," the president said, adding that "all the agencies of the federal government" are involved.

The plan also incorporates efforts to develop Mexico's lithium industry, which Lopez Obrador's government nationalized this year, as well as the electric car industry in Sonora.

Mexico is Latin America's top automaker, and the government wants to boost electric car sales from the current 5% to 50% by 2030.

Lopez Obrador also mentioned plans to build a factory to produce batteries, but did not specify what kind.

Lithium batteries are a critical component of electric vehicles. Currently no country in Latin America produces lithium batteries at a commercial scale.

Mexico's energy policy has triggered the worst trade dispute with the United States in years. Washington has accused Lopez Obrador's government of adopting measures that discriminate against U.S. companies.


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