International Energy Studies Group
Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division


Mexico Energy Initiative

Solar panels with the US and Mexican flagsBuilding on more than two decades of collaboration with Mexico, and similar models of successful collaboration with China and India, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Mexico Energy Initiative seeks to play a key role in supporting Mexico's transition to greater clean energy production, and enhanced energy productivity as called for in Mexico's Clean Energy Transition Law passed in 2015. More broadly, the Mexico Energy Initiative seeks to foster increased high impact, collaborative clean energy research between the US and Mexico that will benefit Mexico, California, the US, and the world.

A Unique Opportunity

Mexico is emerging as a clean energy leader in the developing world, and is actively pursuing strategic partnerships to advance its renewable energy and energy efficiency goals. California, for its part, has become a national and global leader in clean technology investment and policy development. The current political and economic alignment between Mexico and California in support of clean energy development and implementation is both opportune and unprecedented, offering real economic and environmental benefits for both countries, and will likely serve as a compelling model for developing economies across the globe.

The possibilities for California and Mexico to carry out high-impact collaborative research to accelerate clean energy technology development and deployment have never been greater:

  • At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. To date, 180 countries have signed on.
  • Equally ground breaking, these carbon reduction commitments extended to developing countries for the first time, with Mexico making particularly strong emission reduction commitments.
  • These commitments were further strengthened in June 2016 at the North American Leadership Summit with the announcement of the North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership.
  • Passage of the Energy Transition Law in Mexico in December 2015 further underscored Mexico's role as an emerging clean energy leader among developing countries.
  • Furthermore, California Governor Brown recently signed MOUs with Mexico to foster scientific and technical staff exchanges in the energy sector. These agreements set the stage for immediate and substantive cross-border collaboration.
  • Last but not least, UC President Napolitano launched the UC-Mexico Initiative, including an emphasis on energy, further setting the stage for California-Mexico clean energy collaboration.

As a global leader in the field with a long history of collaboration with Mexico, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is uniquely positioned to serve as a focal point for clean energy research and collaboration with the Mexican government, academic and private sector institutions. The potential benefits of this work are many. Specifically, clear opportunities to leverage LBNL's core expertise in order to make long-lasting progress appear in the following three areas:

Charting a Course - With its expertise in energy demand forecasting, policy formulation, implementation and evaluation, LBNL can help Mexico bridge the gap between its clean energy goals and objectives to develop the most effective policies to achieve them.

Institutional Capacity Building - As a key scientific advisor to the US Government over the last four decades, LBNL can provide critical support to Mexican technical institutions tasked with achieving new clean energy and emissions reductions goals under the new Mexican policy directives.

Buildings and Industrial Energy Efficiency Program Implementation - LBNL can rapidly deploy expertise gained in China and India to build networks and provide research and technical support in partnership with Mexican institutions to promote high impact innovation, and successful program and policy design and execution.

Recent Events

Group shot of the receptionOn November 9, 2016, LBNL held a Welcome Reception to celebrate the arrival of new postdoctoral fellows from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Against the backdrop the previous day's elections, this coming together of new and old collaborators and friends among LBNL, the University of California, and Mexico took on extra meaning. The gathering affirmed the importance of this trailblazing bilateral effort, and the promise of a fruitful and growing scientific collaboration.

We wish to extend special thanks to Gemi Jose Gonzales Lopez, the Consul General of Mexico in San Francisco, for underscoring the Mexican Government's commitment to collaboration in energy research; to Antonio del Rio, Director of the Institute for Renewable Energy at UNAM, for providing LBNL with talented young scientists and for making the trip to celebrate their arrival; and to Hermann Tribukait of SENER for being the remarkable bridge that makes these collaborations possible.

shot of workshop in progressWe are also pleased to report that our first collaborative workshop, entitled "Collaboration Towards Energy Efficient Buildings and Cities," was very productive. This event, co-sponsored by SENER, the CONACYT-SENER Energy Sustainability Fund, the Energy Working Group of the UC-Mexico Initiative, and LBNL's Mexico Energy Initiative, was held November 29 - December 1, 2016, at Casa de la Universidad de California en Mexico, in Mexico City. The event brought together top researchers from both Mexico and the US to develop collaborative research projects to help accelerate the transition to energy efficient buildings and cities in Mexico.

Selected Publications

McNeil, Michael A., and Ana Maria Carreno. "Impacts Evaluation of Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards in Mexico since 2000." In International Energy Program Evaluation Conference. Long Beach, CA, 2015.

Sanchez, I., H. Pulido, M. A. McNeil, I. Turiel and M. della Cava (2007). Assessment of the Impacts of Standards and Labeling Programs in Mexico (four products). LBNL-62813







Michael McNeil, Mexico Lead and Deputy Group Leader, IES
Alberto Diaz Gonzalez
, Project Manager
Heather Thomson
, Administrator