Solar Mexico

The changes I’ve noticed since returning to the UK….mostly, it’s been a lot of ‘meh’. With a few exceptions. One being a serious increase in the number of homes equipped with solar panels on their roofs. They’re pretty ugly. So are the compulsory signs on the garden gates, boasting of the new installation and (more importantly) letting passers by know who to get in touch with in order to keep up with the Jones’.

Ugly they may be. But they are cost effective and environmentally sound. They are the future, and I can buy into that. Although I’m not convinced they really need to cost quite as much as they do for the initial installation. Although my home insurance firm do cover them as standard, and for accidental damage too. Just in case you wanted to know.

It has had me wondering. Why isn’t there more of a solar panel presence in Mexico City? Or is there, and I just missed it? I doubt that’s the case to be honest, although I don’t spend much time wandering around Polanco or Santa Fe. I’ve been researching though. Mexico, apparently, has the worlds third largest solar potential. I can believe that. I can testify to the fact there’s plenty of sun in Mexico City – there’s plenty of it year round there.

But still, not many visible solar panels. I can think of two reasons why. Firstly, the subsidised cost of gas and electricity, in DF especially. Secondly, the cost of imported products due to taxes, which the solar panels would be.  Things could be changing though. Fuel costs are soaring, and will continue to do so as the Cantarell and other oil wells empties. There are plans afoot to start making solar panels in Mexico too.

The benefits solar power could bring to Mexico City are obvious. The reduction of pollution for one, although they’d really need to utilise solar energy to power the cities transport systems to have a major impact. Another obvious plus would be to keep the lights on – the erratic power supply has been a problem for a long time. Of course, given that so many people live in apartments on fairly low wages, it would need the Distrito Federal to embark on a social program to get the most out of the solar potential of the city.

But why not? They’ve done so much in recent years to help make the city ‘green’. Why not put into place programs to let residents join together to install subsidised solar panels on the flat, sun-soaked roofs of the tens of thousands of apartment blocks?

Not all Mexico residents need a push towards renewable energies though. I’ve long admired, and extolled, the innovative nature of Mexicans and their ability to be creative with minimal resources to solve their problems. Meet the greenest taco stall in all of Mexico…

8 thoughts on “Solar Mexico

  1. We always wondered why they didn’t use more solar energy in South Africa, especially Johannesburg where the winter is three months of cloudless skies. But the answer is clear. An initiative to install solar power in home recently went bankrupt and the sole energy provider in the country thus maintains their monopoly.

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    1. About 20 years ago, when I was taking driving lessons, my instructor told me how we’d all be driving electric cars within a decade. I don’t think he entirely got my sarcasm when I agreed with him. The only thing that could possibly stop electric cars from dominating the roads was, after all, half a dozen of the world’s largest and most powerful companies and all the politicians they have in their pockets. What could possibly go wrong?

      To be fair, there are also, still, technological hurdles that need to be crossed. But my point, in my opinion, remains valid. The brand of capitalism we have in the west does tend to mean we react to necessity at the last moment, rather than pro-actively implement in time for the inevitable.

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  2. Mexico City should first work on capturing into cisterns some of all the rainwater that falls. That would go a LONG way toward recovering a truly scarce resource. Also some huge amount of the City’s electricity (1/7th perhaps?) goes into pumping water. So having people collect rainwater from their roofs would kill two birds with one stone.

    Though I like the PV* idea, capturing water would be cheaper, easier, and solve a more immediate problem.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we do know people with PV installations. They seem happy enough with them.

    * Photo voltaic

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    1. You won’t catch me disagreeing with you as far as water goes…every time P complains about something in England, I turn on a tap, smile and announce “Would you @&*£%*@$ believe it…I turned on the tap and freaking water comes out!” You can drink it too…!

      I don’t think this needs to be a case of one or the other though. From what I’ve read on the subject (minimal!) Mexico’s entire energy requirements could be met by covering a tiny, tiny, tiny little chunk of desert with solar panels. I can believe it, too. It wouldn’t take much for Mexico to be exporting electricity north and south.

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      1. LOL….yeah, about the tap water. I love the fact that not only can I drink the tap water here, it’s actually BETTER than most of the bottled water. I’ve seen where Boston’s water comes from too. A beautiful, granite-bottomed reservoir in Western MA, that’s so clear you can see the bottom, surrounded by pristine forest.

        But I could resign myself to drinking bottled water in DF.

        Actually, I keep meaning to take some of F’s tap water back here and have it tested. Supposedly you can drink it, (though no one does), and it’d be a hoot if it came back safe.

        Saludos,

        Kim G
        Boston, MA
        Where with all the market volatility, Mexico looks better every day!

        P.S. I just came across a picture today of the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. Have you seen it? A beautiful example of Victorian engineering, useful to this day.

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        1. I have to say I did drink plenty of tap water in my time in DF without coming to harm. Although there were times when it came out brown…I think thats when the system is flushed or something. Ask F!

          I’m sure most germs in the water are killed by the lethal dose of Clorox they add to the stuff! ::)

          I’ve never seen the Clifton Bridge in the flesh, only in photos. We have quite a number of fabulous bridges here. Including the one commonly referred to by visitors as London Bridge. But which is not London Bridge. a point for guessing the correct name…

          I have walked across this bridge though. Not as much to look at at first glance. But historically the most important of them all…

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  3. London Bridge? That’s the Tower Bridge, right? With the pair of enormous 100 HP Victorian engines in the basement to drive the works?

    And which is that last bridge there? Quite a beauty too.

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are amazed that motorcycles now have 100 HP engines in a fraction of the space their Victorian forebears required.

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    1. It is, of course, Tower Bridge. The real London Bridge is a pretty dull affair in comparison. Although you needn’t cross the Atlantic to see ‘London Bridge’.

      The photo is of Ironbridge, further up the Severn. I visited on a school geography trip many, many moons ago.

      And talking of bikes, I watched the World’s Fastest Indian a couple of weeks back. Not Hopkins finest moment – his accent was pretty awful. But a good film nonetheless.

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