Image credits: Greg Montani
News Article

CFE Assures Droughts Will not Get in Way of Hydropower Processes

By Anamary Olivas | Thu, 08/04/2022 - 15:05

Mexico’s state electric utility company CFE declared that the dry season will not impact its plan to produce power with its hydroelectric plants. The government’s clean energy transition strategy is strongly based on optimizing the water resources that already exist in the dams.


CFE issued the statement after rating agency Moody's issued a report on July 29, saying that the prospect of more frequent droughts puts the plan to use hydroelectric plants to generate electricity at risk. "The strategy of the Mexican government is based on the optimization of the existing water resources at the dams. Therefore, the coming droughts would not impact this plan," stated CFE.


Moody's said that the growing scarcity of water will be crucial obstacle for Mexico to overcome in its efforts to meet its objective of producing more clean energy. Since the beginning of 2022, Nuevo León, particularly the metropolitan area of ​​Monterrey, has suffered a drought crisis at the dams that supply water to the population. However, it is not the only part of the country facing this problem. In fact, the crisis is even more foreboding in other parts of the country, according to data from the National Water Commission (CONAGUA).


CFE pointed out the evidence registered by CONAGUA that shows that the drought varies in extent and magnitude throughout the year, with droughts exacerbating in the dry seasons and a contraction of the phenomenon during the rainy season. “CFE anticipates this variability to manage reservoirs toward hydroelectric power production. It also establishes emptying programs to provide security to the population and establish safe reservoirs until the end of the rainy seasons, so Moody's estimates are unfounded," the company said in a statement.


The energy company maintained that this same strategy for using reservoirs is carried out during hydroelectric power plant modernization projects, with which more energy will be produced with the same amount of water. CFE dams have adequate storage levels, according to the daily monitoring carried out by the company and CONAGUA through the Technical Committee for the Operation of Hydraulic Works (CTOOH).


CFE added that it produces power marching the needs of the dispatch and planning of CENACE to maintain the stability and continuity of the National Electricity System. “There is no convincing evidence of a reliable change in the runoff regime in Mexico. Periodic drought is a natural phenomenon that occurs regularly in the country,” concluded the state company.

Photo by:   Greg Montani
Anamary Olivas Anamary Olivas Journalist & Industry Analyst