Have you heard the buzz around the world and in town related to solar energy? The abundant solar energy that we have here in Mexico can be captured and put to use to heat hot water for domestic household use, swimming pools and to generate clean, cost effective solar electricity. The latter, solar electric systems, are technically known as “Photovoltaic” or “PV”
(Photo=Light, Voltaic=Electricity) and will be the focus of this article.
Frustrated with high CFE electric bills? Now you can do something about it and make the community and world a better place at the same time. A solar electric “PV” system, using solar panels, produces electricity during the daytime to power up to 100% or more of your home or business electrical needs. These special PV systems are interconnected with the CFE, Comisión Federal de
Electricidad, Mexico’s national electric utility company and power grid.
As a bonus, anytime your home solar electric system is generating more electricity than you need, the excess is sent back into the CFE power grid, spinning your meter backwards and producing a credit. This credit is then typically used during the evening or whenever
consumption is greater than production. Credits can even be rolled over from one bill to the next if need be. This process is known as net metering and is completely legal with the correct contract, agreement and special meter. We implemented some of the first grid tied systems in Mexico over 9 years ago, the first solar PV system in Chapala Ajijic, one of the first in Guadalajara and also the largest residential solar project in the country.
The economic case: Electric rates in Mexico for users in the high DAC electric tariff have risen on average more 10% compounded annually over the past 8 years. Current electricity prices at this level are over 3-4 times the national average found in the US and Canada. Why? The majority of the fossil fuel based electricity generation here still comes from petroleum and petroleum based derivatives ¨bunker fuel¨. Unfortunately the days of cheap oil are over as national production peaked in 2004 and has been in dramatic decline ever since. Deep economic subsidies are being phased out and this is why we now feel the price hikes on our electric bills and of course at the fuel pump as well.
A grid connected solar electric “PV” system can prove to be a very sound financial investment. When designed correctly according to a home’s specific energy needs, annual return on investment can exceed 16% at current electric rates and returns will only increase as electric rates continue to soar in both the short and long term. As an effective hedge against inflationary energy costs, a solar PV system allows you to keep more money in your portfolio instead of throwing it away every two months only to be burned up in the smokestack of some distant fossil fuel fired power plant. Furthermore, your home’s resale value will increase as monthly operational costs will be much lower than those compared to a home without this added feature.
Be sure to protect your investment by choosing to work only with an expert PV system provider and manufacturers who have the most experience with proven high quality technologies and will be around in the future to provide first class service and support. As with any emerging industry, be wary of opportunists who are out there just to make a quick buck and will then vanish with the setting sun.
With all the economic and environmental uncertainty in the world today, it is refreshing to know that a solar electric system can help provide us with stability in the form of energy security and energy independence. We may not know exactly what the future will hold but one sure bet is that the sun will keep on shining for a long time to come. Future generations thank you in advance for choosing to Go Solar!
For more information on solar energy and solar panels in Mexico: www.esunenergy.com or 01.800.099.0272 Guadalajara Puerto Vallarta Ajijic Chapala Manzanillo Colima Mexico City. All rights reserved, eSun Energía S.A. de C.V.
Manzanillo Sun’s eMagazine written by local authors about living in Manzanillo and Mexico, since 2009