• Energy

LOT EXTENDED: connecting distributed solar PV projects to the Clean Energy Certificate market in Mexico

The lab of tomorrow (lot) is expanding its scope: in the new format ‘lot extended’, we enable GIZ projects based in our partner countries to autonomously run lab of tomorrow innovation processes in order to tackle their development challenges with sustainable business solutions. This format allows an even deeper integration into the local market and focuses on involving players from developing and emerging countries. The Berlin–based lot team acts as an advisor providing guidance during the whole process.

We are happy to consult the first lot extended run by our GIZ colleagues of the Solar Energy Programme in Mexico. It is funded by the German Climate and Technology Initiative (DKTI).

For more information visit: 

https://www.giz.de/en/worldwide/41417.html (Spanish)

https://www.giz.de/en/worldwide/40646.html (English)

The challenge

The lot extended innovation process tackles the challenge: How might we generate business models that enable distributed solar PV projects to access the Clean Energy Certificates (CEL) market?

Preliminary sub–challenges

The diverse actors and steps involved in connecting distributed solar PV projects to the clean energy certificate market in Mexico offer room for approaching the main challenge with differentiated priorities. To do so, five sub-challenges have been formulated based on the current barriers and opportunities in the Mexican solar energy market.

  1. General lack of knowledge about Clean Energy Certificates

  2. High expenses associated with the certification

  3. Amount and value of the awarded Clean Energy Certificates

  4. Requirements for being represented in the market of Clean Energy Certificates

  5. Efficiency of operation and maintenance processes


The Energy Reform as well as the Energy Transition Law (LTE) initiated by the Mexican government created an important foundation to increase the share of renewable energies in the energy matrix with the objective to meet the established clean energy targets (at least 35% of the generated electricity has to be clean by 2024 and 50% by 2050).

A major instrument in this reform is the creation of a clean energy certificate (CEL) market which aims to promote the development and deployment of clean energy generating technologies. This system grants a CEL for each MWh of electricity produced by a generator using clean energy technologies. Suppliers and large users have the obligation to purchase an increasing amount of these certificates to cover their sales/consumption.

By the end of 2017, the installed capacity of distributed photovoltaic solar energy reached 434 MW and, according to the most optimistic projections, it can reach 6 GW by 2024 (ASOLMEX 2018). The market has particularly grown in the non-subsidized tariff segment, but economic viability is much lower in the subsidized segment (mainly residential). This subsidized segment could benefit largely from additional income that could be generated from the sale of CELs.

The global context

The challenge to accelerate the energy transition through clean energy certificates is not a local phenomenon. In fact, it mirrors the Sustainable Development Goals No. 7 and No. 13 of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy, and taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by 2030 that were adopted by the UN General Assembly.

  • 13% of the global population still lacks access to modern electricity.

  • From 1880 to 2012, average global temperature increased by 0.85°C.

  • Goal 7 aims to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services by 2030.

  • Goal 13 aims to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries by 2030.

Ensuring access to affordable and sustainable energy while tackling climate change is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.