SEI alumni Jorge Fernández, a solar revolutionary in Mexico

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The PV trade in Latin America is essentially made up of execs searching for coaching to transition from different careers to turn out to be solar energy professionals. Jorge Luis Fernández Gómez is a part of a small phase that, because the starting, has all the time aligned his profession with renewable energy, laying a stable basis by getting concerned within the improvement and wholesome progress of the solar trade in Mexico. With his curiosity in solar energy blossoming at a younger age, Jorge launched his profession in 2008 on the Autonomous University of Guadalajara as an Electrical Mechanical Engineer, with a give attention to solar energy. His father, who can also be an Electrical Mechanical Engineer, noticed the affluent way forward for solar in Mexico early on, earlier than it grew to become much more frequent.

Jorge tells us that his best motivation is the potential of providing individuals energy independence, producing inexpensive, sustainable and obtainable energy for all. “To a certain point, I think of myself as a revolutionary, but not in the traditional sense – I think of myself as a technological revolutionary, because we are experiencing an energy revolution. Since the sun exists, solar is a technology that is here to stay because there would be no life without the sun. Solar energy generates energy where it is. I have constructed small isolated solar installations with batteries in places where they didn’t have electricity at all, providing an opportunity for people to connect a light bulb or a small refrigerator – and that has given me the motivation to continue in all of this. I think I’m in the right industry – I see a lot of future in solar and that motivates me to stay in it.”

Jorge went on to inform us about his expertise within the Mexican solar trade and the steps that led him to the place he’s at present because the founding father of PERA Energías Renovables in Jalisco, the place the corporate leads the solar market with residential, enterprise and small trade tasks in six states of the Mexican Republic. After working for various firms putting in methods from 1KW to half MW, from agribusiness to the administration of a Canadian tools distribution firm, Jorge realized that to proceed rising, he needed to department out on his personal. So he started to get licensed in varied skillsets to kind the corporate he has been working efficiently for 7 years.

“I am a lucky person and was often in the right place at the right time, doing what I had to do – and that’s what got me here. It is a path that began in 2008 with solar thermal energy and, by the time solar PV was approved in Mexico in 2013, I was completely immersed in the solar industry, co-working with different associations such as the Mexican PV Industry Association (AMIF) and the National Solar Energy Association (ANES). I have been part of the evolution from within,” said Jorge. Confirming his central function within the trade, Jorge (with the help of two different individuals and Mapfre, a Spanish insurance coverage firm) helped to develop the first-ever insurance coverage protection for photovoltaic methods, that launched within the Mexican market earlier this yr.

Jorge believes that there’s all the time one thing new to be taught, as evidenced by his profession in engineering, quite a few certifications, masters diploma in Energy Efficiency Management, and his completion of SEI’s Solar Professional Certificate Program in Spanish. Speaking about SEI’s coaching, Jorge shared ideas on his expertise with us: “The high quality training was what impacted me the most. The truth is that, although I had taken other courses outside of SEI, nothing was comparable – the detail, the knowledge of the instructors, the best practices they shared, the networking possibilities, the professional relationships that I formed with my colleagues and instructors – all of this allowed me to learn how the market works in other countries and how to create new business therein. Add to that the world class lab-yard – I never imagined being in a laboratory that was so modern, so fully equipped.”

We additionally requested Jorge what preliminary steps an individual wanting to start out a enterprise in solar energy ought to take. His response: “The first step is to approach solar associations. For example, a partnership with AMIF provides resources for manufacturers, installation companies, integrators, and those who are just starting out. The way to do it in Mexico is to go to these associations and meet competent suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, and even finance companies – people who are dedicated to this work. That’s where you’ll find the information you need, along with helpful contacts and training resources. If you want to start a solar business solely on your own, you are going to lose, because everyone thinks they already know how to do it – everyone thinks they can instinctively teach and sell panels.”

Jorge is enthusiastic about solar know-how and dealing in it makes him comfortable. His involvement within the trade permits him to remain very lively, even amongst the fragile state of affairs the Mexican energy trade is experiencing proper now below the proposed electrical energy counter-reform by present President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador. “We are taking matters into our own hands so that the reform won’t pass and we need everyone’s support. The biggest challenge we have now is to become unionized. The three largest associations in Mexico, AMIF, ANES, and ASOLMEX have all been working together to join forces. We’re asking anyone who is involved not to be indifferent: support, join in and spread the word. There is also a petition on Change.org that we are inviting people to sign. We are holding meetings, approaching the chamber of commerce and business chambers, but there is still a lot of uncertainty and the situation is very complicated. I think this is going to be the most difficult step that we will have to overcome as Mexicans in the solar industry. But if we can overcome this situation, I am postive that everything will change, and nothing will stop the growth,” Jorge emphatically expressed.

We thank Jorge for his time, for sharing his in depth expertise, and for his ardour and imaginative and prescient of a extra sustainable world with entry to energy for all. People like Jorge are driving main solar trade improvement and it’s a pleasure for us to have him as a part of our nice solar household!

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