You are the second female president of a solar industry association in Mexico. Besides leading ANES, you are a young mother and professor at the largest public university in Mexico, the UNAM. Congratulations!
What is the Mexican solar industry doing to foster gender equality?
ANES actively participates in projects where gender equality is promoted, even this board has tried to be equitable. We are also allies of women's energy networks and several universities that promote this issue. I believe that the Mexican solar industry is attractive not only for women but for young people in general, since the issue of gender equity goes hand in hand with breaking the paradigm in the schemes of labor skills and training. The solar energy industry is committed to inclusion.
ANES represents the interest of companies and organisations from both the solar PV and the solar thermal sector. Usually, the solar PV industry gets more attention and appears to be more attractive than the solar thermal industry.
Are there synergies being created between the solar PV and solar thermal industry, to strengthen the positioning of the solar energy as a whole in the mix of renewable energy technologies available in Mexico?
Of course, one of ANES' objectives is to promote the integration of energy in all its types of use, both actively and passively. Among its associates, ANES has integrators, who include both technologies in the development of their projects. Here it is important to highlight that of our universe of associates around 30% have both technologies and also provide energy efficiency services. In this sense, ANES fosters the link between academia, industry and the government sector.
In several countries, the solar thermal industry lags behind and not enough efforts are done in terms of lobby to improve the framework conditions, especially regarding public policy and incentive programs that foster its growth.
What actions is ANES undertaking to bring solar thermal in public policy forward?
ANES influence the government agencies responsible for Mexico's energy policy with solid technical and scientific arguments regarding the importance and role that different forms of solar energy must have in the country's development. Experts in solar energy and ANES partners represent the interests of this industry before the regulatory and supply of renewable energy. We have an important communication channel with the government sector as promoters of the use of solar thermal energy. For example, we are working in the Senate of the Republic and in COMENER (Mexican Energy Council) the Solar Heat Law for Mexico.
The Mexican solar thermal market continues growing and it has diversified. There are applications for the residential, commercial, agroindustrial and manufacturing sectors. Several collector technologies are manufactured locally and there are several support programmes such as the Iniciativa Calor Solar, Misol (UNDP funded programme for the hotel sector), and the recently launched Solar City from the local government of Mexico City, among others.
What is ANES doing to increase reliability in the technology?
ANES is a strategic partner in all these initiatives. In addition, one of the main activities of ANES is the implementation of training courses at different levels, from basic to industrial applications. On the other hand, I chair the national technical committee for solar energy standardization NESO-13. This committee works with the Mexican Society for Standardization and Certification NORMEX, where it also has its headquarters. Among the works carried out recently, there is the Mexican standard NMX-ES-001-NORMEX 2018 "Solar Energy - Thermal Performance and Functionality of Solar Collectors for Heating Liquids - Test Method and Labelling". Currently, we are working on the modification of the Mexican standard NMX-ES-003_NORMEX-2019 "Solar Energy-Minimum Requirements for the Installation of Solar Thermal Systems for Water Heating".
Central and South America are an interesting market for solar thermal applications due to their high solar irradiation and energy consumption for heat, especially in industry. However, not so many Mexican companies engage in export activities in other countries in Latin America.
What is ANES doing or plants to do to support companies to internationalise and enter in foreign markets?
We are in the process of signing collaboration agreements with organizations in several Latin American countries that have an interest in strengthening and harnessing solar thermal energy. The goal of these agreements is to create networks of links with Mexican companies and end users of these technologies. In addition, ANES collaborates with international associations such as Germany's BSW in the Solar Payback project, which promotes the use of solar heat in industry in Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and India. We also belong to the International Solar Energy Society.