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CFE, France to Collaborate Toward Geothermal Energy Efficiency

By María José Goytia | Tue, 06/07/2022 - 11:00

CFE seeks international alliances that will allow it to increase its efficiency in electricity generation. Its most recent collaboration materialized with France’s government, via a project that seeks to improve the efficiency of its geothermal power production.

Through France’s Fund of Studies and Support to the Private Sector (FASEP), CFE and the French Government are exploring the implementation of new technologies to boost energy efficiency within the Mexican state-owned utility's geothermal power plants.

In coordination with Suez Consulting, Enertime, Hartree and the French Development Agency, CFE conducted the study "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: Improving the Performance of CFE's Geothermal Plants through the Use of Binary Cycle Technology." The study analyzes the technical and economic feasibility of implementing Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technologies, at CFE's geothermal power plants.

The findings show that CFE’s geothermal generation capacity could be increased by 133GWh annually, equivalent to the electricity demanded by 85,000 homes. The improved efficiency would also reduce the emission of 75kt/y of CO2.

Leonardo Ramón Álvarez Larrauri, Deputy Director of the Grid Business, CFE, emphasized the importance of promoting electricity generation through geothermal energy, as it is a non-intermittent renewable energy source. Meanwhile, Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian, the French Ambassador to Mexico, congratulated the team working on the project, stating the efforts strengthened ties between the countries as well as their mutual development.

In February 2021, CFE and FASEP signed a cooperation agreement to carry out this feasibility study at Mexico's geothermal fields, which will last 18 months.

According to development plan PRODESEN 2022-2036, power production from geothermal sources has decreased during the past 3 years. Geothermal power generation equaled 5,060GWh in 2019, 4,574GWh in 2020 and 4,24GWh in 2021, representing 1.57, 1.44, and 1.29 percent of national electricity generation in their respective years.

CFE has also sought to collaborate with other European countries on its energy projects, such as with the startup of its green hydrogen pilot program. Considering its limited investment capacity and experience in the technology, CFE is exploring partnerships with private sector companies to develop the project.

At the Nordic Day 2022, organized by Mexico’s Ministry of Economy, CFE Subdirector Leonardo Ramon Alvarez commented that the state utility is betting on green hydrogen but knows it lacks the experience to adequately develop the pilot project.

CFE’s international collaboration efforts underline the company's interest in modernizing its operations so that it can achieve the energy ministry’s objectives regarding the clean energy transition.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Energía Hoy, Forbes México, Energy 21, Energía A Debate
Photo by:   CFE on Twitter
María José Goytia María José Goytia Journalist and Industry Analyst