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Sonora Seeks Leadership Role in Development
of Clean Energy along Border

By Rafael Ceballos*

Just before handing the reigns over to his successor and announcing the investment of 23.3 million federal dollars to create the Mexican Solar Energy Innovation Center,. Guillermo Padrés Elías, governor from 2009-2012, stressed that Sonora will achieve national status as a leader in developing research methods for energy generation.

“We are going to be put in the privileged position of being able to attract and carry out the research necessary to make viable all of the projects that might present themselves,” he added, during the opening ceremonies of the 19th Border Energy Forum, on October 23. 2012.

In front of representatives of the private initiative, Mexican and United States government officials and the general public, he made the commitment that Sonora would facilitate investments in the development of high tech projects by creating conditions conducive to business.

The ex-governor emphasized that he had formalized the commitment so that a world class company might set up in Sonora to manufacture photovoltaic equipment that concentrates and converts sunlight into electricity.

“I am very happy that today our government was able to sign a letter of intent with the Sony Erickson Company to develop a 50 megawatt solar energy park”, he announced.

Moreover, he added that an alliance between the French group Heliotrop and the Federal Electricity Commission to produce solar energy in Sonora was also being celebrated.

For her part, Maria Elena Giner, manager of the The Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), said that Sonora currently has 27 innovative projects with a total of $46.5 million in investments, the same number as was promised for environmental protection.

Together with the North American Development Bank, BECC was created in 1993  within  the framework of the  North  American  Free

Ponentes del gobierno y empresas en el foro de energia fronterizaBusiness and government presenters announce commitments for development of solar energy during the 19th Border Energy Forum. (Photo: courtesy of the US Embassy in Mexico).
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Trade Agreement, with the intention of improving the environmental conditions of the border region between Mexico and the United States and promoting the well-being of the inhabitants of both countries.  The two institutions institute the policies and bilateral programs that promote the sustainable development of environmental infrastructure in the border region. 

The Border Energy Forum, launched by the Texas General Land Office, facilitates the exchange of information about the best methods for: energy production and consumption in the border region; forming new alliances; and helping in joint regional projects on both economic development and environmental protection.

This year, the forum focused on discussing the potential of clean energies such as natural gas, as well as renewable energies like solar in the ten frontier states.

“The access to reliable, sustainable, and available energy is inextricably connected to economic development and a better quality of life,” said Anthony Wayne, the United States Ambassador to Mexico.  “But there is no single solution to confront the growing worries of energy security that appear to follow the increase in energy demand in our countries and around the world.  All the options should be on the table.”

Wayne emphasized the importance of continued crossborder cooperation for the development of clean energy solutions for the rapidly growing region.

*Correspondent, Radio Sonora

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