Let’s talk about energy and society
Energy is one of the industries that has generated the most significant technological transformation. Some years ago, it was unthinkable to store electricity. However, today we have different methods for its storage. Finding and extracting the hydrocarbon was like hitting the jackpot, but today we have various techniques that reduce its risk and provide greater geological certainty.
In this sense, energy is the driving force behind technological development and all our daily lives. It is one of the pillars of society for human progress. However, talking about energy and society means considering energy’s technicality with ideals such as the democratization of energy, a circular economy, or community energy. It seems simple, but it is something that Mexico has definitely not achieved.
Fortunately, the phenomenon of energy federalism makes it possible for the States to contribute to these ideals. How to make it possible for energy to be produced most efficiently, with the most significant economic and above all social benefits, taking care of the environment? In the Energy Agency of the State of Puebla (AEEP), we call it Energy Wellbeing, a vision that prevailed from the process of its creation.
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This is how the Agency presents a portfolio of projects such as White Flag, whose purpose is to electrify through solar panels those rural and remote areas in the state of Puebla that do not have this resource. From the Sierra Norte to the Sierra Negra and Mixteca, this project has the opportunity to achieve the democratization of energy in small communities.
Another project is the Program for the Saving and Efficient Use of Energy (PAUEER), a strategy for economic reactivation by saving energy consumption. Through training in energy efficiency to MSMEs and the chapters of corporate buildings, government, housing, municipal water pumping, and public lighting, implementing solutions that generate a sustainable impact is sought.
Likewise, to be able to develop small or large-scale projects requires financing and a lot of capital. To do this, an energy investment process called the Project Development Cycle was designed. The Cycles are public calls focused on attracting investment to identify the projects that provide more significant economic and social development. In its different stages, the AEEP offers support, advice on regulatory matters, social agreement, institutional linkage, and financing tools.
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Finally, the Gender Equality Unit is a transversal project in the entire structure of the Agency and its projects. The historical exclusion of women continues to be an obstacle to achieving a just energy transition. In the current context, the post-COVID world must have a gender perspective, from empowering young women to enter STEM careers for their inclusion in the formulation of alternatives to achieving gender parity in energy sector organizations. Talking about energy and society is necessary, and it will become easier and easier when the issue is brought to the table. Let’s talk.
María Valencia. Director of Institutional Relations and Head of the Gender Equality Unit of the Energy Agency of the State of Puebla.