Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) singled out renewables giant Iberdrola in his latest blast against foreign clean energy investors, claiming the Spanish group is running a campaign against his government.
AMLO claimed Iberdrola – one of the biggest players in the Mexican power sector – is pursuing a covert media operation and used its influence to secure contracts, Reuters reported.
“I have information that they’re the ones who are pursuing this campaign, it’s just hidden,” the president told Mexican reporters.
“This has to do with Spanish companies that see Mexico as a land to be conquered,” he said according to Reuters.
AMLO has since his election in 2018 been involved in an escalating conflict with the country’s renewables sector, which won huge contracts in clean energy auctions run by his predecessor that resulted in some of the lowest wind and solar power prices on the planet.
Iberdrola – which won 600MW in a 2016 auction round alone – is a major player in both conventional and renewable generation in Mexico, and expects to have 12GW installed in the country by 2022.
The President has vowed to tilt the balance of control in Mexican energy from “foreign businessmen” back to state-owned entities such as power utility CFE – which renewables advocates warn would in practice mean underpinning the use of fossil fuels.
AMLO’s government has clashed with the renewables sector in court, drawn criticism from Greenpeace and recently attracted diplomatic complaints from the EU and Canada over moves to limit grid access for huge new developments built by foreign investors.
Iberdrola told Recharge it has no comment on the President’s remarks.