We interview Mauricio Vázquez Vela, General Director of Vazquez Vela Group, Onyx Sola’s distributor in Mexico
1. Mauricio, why did you decide to move forward with Onyx Solar within your market?
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to all the Onyx Solar community and say hello from our country, Mexico. Grupo Vazquez Vela went for the distribution of the photovoltaic glass from Onyx because of the same philosophy that we share with Onyx, towards sustainability and corporate social responsibility, as well as the fact that this technology poses a high level of innovation and efficiency to be exploited in this market.
2. Last year Grupo Vazquez Vela was awarded by the Global Quality Foundation, highlighting the commitment of the group towards sustainability and corporate responsibility. Where does that vocation for that type of business come from?
We received the award within the ELITE Category which is granted to these companies making a difference and positive impact within the environment they operate. It was a great stimulus for us to keep working hard towards sustainability, innovation, honesty and ethics.
We cannot work under an old business model that only goes after profits without minding the natural environment and others wellbeing.
3. How well do you think the Onyx Solar photovoltaic glass has been received in Mexico?
Mexico is a country filled with opportunities and also challenges to be taken. Currently there is a great environmental awareness among citizens and companies, and therefore that represents an important business opportunity for this photovoltaic glass. Onyx Solar products are a great solution to the enormous problems of the environment for their high degree of technology and innovation.
The photovoltaic glazing is a sustainable solution that can be easily incorporated in any type of construction project, either for new construction or retrofits. We are sure that they will have a great impact within the architectural community and that they will be incorporated into the fabric of many buildings.
4. A PV glass has the same or greatest properties than a traditional glass, besides it generates free and clean electricity from de Sun. What do architects and construction companies think of it?
First of all, we had to gain enough knowledge on the product: free and clean electricity, multiple design option, customized sizes, CO2 emissions impact, or contribution to LEED certification. Several architects said they had not seen anything like that before and they were happily surprised. That is one of the reasons why this product has been already featured at Forbes, Expansion, El Economista, Radioformula, Green TV, Universo PYME, and showcased at Expo Cihac very successfully.
As a result of all these marketing actions and publications, the photovoltaic glass is already pretty well known by the architectural community and it is a reality for construction projects in Mexico.
5. The Onyx Solar photovoltaic glass has been approved by Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), what does that entail and what type of opportunities may arise thanks to it?
Construction industry in Mexico represents a great opportunity for both the public and private sector. Within the public sector, Health and Science markets have an important history and future for the country. Currently, we have been approved by this public institution in order to be able to participate in construction projects for new hospitals and retrofits in the whole territory, so that the photovoltaic glass can be used in any of these projects.
6. Talking about pricing, there are several photovoltaic glass references that are as price competitive as a traditional architectonic glass. How do you think this efforts towards inexpensive solutions will influence the development of the market?
Being a more competitive product in terms of prices will make it quicker for the clients to deploy this technology within their projects. In this sense, other benefits that will be reached with this photovoltaic glass are as follows:
– Free and clean electricity generation for more than 25 years that will offset the increase in electricity prices over the years (it increases every year by 8.5% in México).
– Accordance with Federal, State and Local initiatives and policies.
– 100% income tax deduction.
– Sustainable construction, environmental and media impacts.
7. How do you see the green building market and Building Integrated Photovoltaics in Mexico from here to 2020?
Mexico is one of the five countries in the world that enjoy more solar irradiation; in addition, between 2013 to 2018 the country will invest more than MXN 20.8 billion in smart cities, sustainability and green building in general.
Photovoltaic industry in Mexico has a great natural potential while the construction industry will be ranked among the top 25 worldwide in 2018; more detailed, by 2025 16% of the renewable energy sources will come from solar. The coming scenario for photovoltaic glazing and solutions of this kind will represent a great opportunity for these smart constructive elements.
8. How do you foresee your relationship with Onyx and the Building Integrated Photovoltaics market in Mexico in five years time?
We enjoy challenges based on professionalism and ethics. We are very happy and proud of being the first distributor Onyx Solar engaged with; it implies lot of responsibility from our standpoint of view. We foresee the relationship to be very solid as well as enjoyable because we make the most of all the time that we share with the Onyx team. In 5 years time we see us triumphant and counting on many anecdotes to relate.
In behalf of Grupo Vazquez Vela, thank you very much for this opportunity to work closely together with Onyx Solar and we see you soon!