How Dutch innovation can fuel Mexico's energy transition
As a follow-up on the recently published market study on the opportunities in the Mexican renewable energy sector, Holland House Mexico interviewed Mr. Fernando Flores. He highlights the benefits of the Mexican sustainability sector and provides valuable insights about the opportunities in renewable energy. Lastly, he shares his advice for Dutch entrepreneurs that want to do business in Mexico.
Fernando Flores, CEO of GreenID, is an engineer specialized in sustainable energy technology. During his studies in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, he developed an interest for the Dutch culture and country. GreenID’s mission is to build bridges between The Netherlands and Latin America in the sustainability and renewable energy sector through business development services in Mexico for Dutch businesses. Recently, he executed a detailed market study commissioned by the local Embassy about the business opportunities for Dutch companies in the Mexican renewable energy sector.
You recently published a detailed report about renewable energy in Mexico, in cooperation with HHM Energy & Maritime. How did you experience this project?
What I especially like about this report is that it functions as a gateway for Dutch companies. I see many Dutch entrepreneurs with very interesting companies and technologies. However, often Mexico is perceived to be a good holiday destination rather than a vibrant business environment. This report contributes greatly to spreading awareness about all the business opportunities that are present in Mexico in the renewable energy sector.
The full market report about the market opportunities for Dutch companies in the Mexican renewable energy industry can be found here.
How does Mexico stand out in the sustainability sector?
What is truly special about Mexico is its extremely broad variety of natural resources. The only ecosystem that cannot be found in Mexico is the arctic. This is the main competitive advantage Mexico has compared to other countries. Besides, the renewable energy sector is a young industry that is still under development. Therefore, there is a promising first mover advantage.
Could you name some concrete sustainable technologies which have potential in the Mexican market?
An interesting opportunity has been identified in the energy sector, which is called distributed generation. This approach employs small-scale technologies to produce electricity close to the end-user. Distributed generators can provide lower-cost electricity and higher power reliability and security, with fewer environmental consequences than traditional power generators. I am particularly excited about this niche opportunity because I am acquainted with several Dutch companies that specialize in this technique, while I am also aware of the of the demand in Mexico.
In addition, other concrete technologies that have potential are: small wind turbines, hybrid solar collectors (PVT), light-to-electricity technologies (PV) especially when applied to buildings’ facades, charging stations for electric vehicles, and energy storage solutions.
What are some of the barriers Dutch entrepreneurs experience upon entry of the Mexican market, and how can they be tackled?
Doing business in Mexico requires solid preparation. The main issue entrepreneurs might face is a lack of understanding of the Mexican mindset. This is explicable since there are major differences between the Mexican and the Dutch cultures, the spoken languages and of course between the time zones. Dutch entrepreneurs should spend time studying the Mexican (professional) culture in order to be able to communicate successfully.
You are very passionate about connecting The Netherlands and Mexico. What is your main motivation?
I strongly believe that Mexico and The Netherlands can support each other. When I lived in The Netherlands, I found out the country is rich in innovative technologies. On the other hand, Mexico has the space and big-scale industries in which those can be applied. This creates a unique potential for bringing together supply and demand. Therefore, my goal with GreenID is to speed up the energy transition by combining the best of both worlds.
What is your advice for Dutch entrepreneurs entering the Mexican market?
There are many organizations that help Dutch entrepreneurs entering the Mexican market and doing business on the Mexican market. GreenID, The Embassy of the Netherlands in Mexico, Holland House Mexico and the NBSO are all able to support Dutch companies. Therefore, I believe that possible barriers are easy to overcome.
My advice is to come to Mexico with concrete business cases and aiming at clear opportunities. With the right concept, the right preparation and a little bit of help from one of the parties that I just mentioned, achieving sustainable business success is just a matter of time.
Where do you think Mexico will be in 2 years, with regards to sustainability?
I expect to see big improvements in terms of CO2 emission. At the moment there are several initiatives aimed at CO2 reduction. We can expect to see results in 2 years. Furthermore, I expect to see more innovative sustainable technologies being applied in the fields of distributed generation, energy storage, and mobility.