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Nordex, Siemens Gamesa ride out regulatory turbulence in Mexican wind

Energy - Renewables 136 Mexico 735

The future of renewable energy projects being planned for Mexico is in some doubt following a series of regulatory shifts in the past two weeks. The Mexican government has implemented new rules for giving the state more control over the approval of new renewable energy projects, Reuters reports. 

That’s been in part due to reduced demand relating to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as attempts by the government, discussed in Panjiva’s research of Jan. 7, to increase energy independence more broadly. Similar rules had been suspended by the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement just a day earlier according to S&P Global Platts.

Uncertainty over policy has likely driven the on-again, off-again nature of imports of renewable energy equipment to Mexico. Panjiva’s data shows that imports of solar energy and similar equipment likely increased by just 1.7% year over year after in Q1 surging 35.8% higher in 2019 and by 10.4% in 2018. Wind power equipment meanwhile surged 172.0% in Q1 after dropping by 56.2% in 2019, which in turn followed a 402% rise in 2018.

WIND EQUIPMENT IMPORTS MORE CYCLICAL THAN SOLAR

Chart compares Mexican imports of power generating equipment for solar and wind power plants on a monthly and 12-month average basis. Source: Panjiva

The regulatory uncertainty can be a particular challenge in the wind farm sector where projects can take over a year to construct. The supply chains for the sector are also dominated by a handful of firms competing for large-scale projects. In the 12 months to March 31 the largest importer of wind turbine equipment to Mexico was Nordex-Acciona with $207 million out of $476 million of total imports identified, equivalent to 43.6% of the total. 

That was followed by Siemens Gamesa with 23.0% and Vestas with 14.9%, while General Electric only accounted for 3.5%. In 2018 by contrast Vestas accounted for 61.2% of shipments followed by Siemens Gamesa with 24.0%, GE with 14.1% and no shipments by Nordex.

NORDEX TAKES LEAD FROM SIEMENS GAMESA, VESTAS IN 2019 

Chart segments Mexican imports of wind power generation equipment by shipper. Source: Panjiva

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