Mexico Obtains Wind Energy Record in 2021By María José Goytia | Mon, 01/24/2022 - 18:18
Wind energy in Mexico grew 136 percent in its installed capacity in the first three years of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration, reaching a record of 8.3 gigawatts with accumulated investments of US$13 billion. The record was achieved despite the uncertainty generated by recent legislative changes, reported the Mexican Wind Energy Association (AMDEE).
The installed capacity observed in 2021 is the highest figure since 2010. The growth during President López Obrador’s administration exceeds the 82 percent increase recorded in the first three years of former President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term when the 2014 Energy Reform was approved. Leopoldo Rodríguez Olivé, President of AMDEE, explained that the increase in installed capacity is due to the inertial behavior of projects that were already under development before the current administration took over. In addition, the sector has benefited from a 70 percent drop in wind technology costs over the last 10 years, as the cost of generating a kilowatt is at minimum levels totaling US$26.
Accordingly, the wind sector generates 21 terawatts of energy per year, equivalent to the electricity consumption of 14 million households. By the end of 2021, Mexico reached an installed capacity of more than 8,000 megawatts and is ranked seventh in the world in wind energy production. Mexico has 3,175 turbines installed in 69 wind power plants across 15 states, which represents only 8.6 percent of the total installed capacity of electricity generation in the country. The wind energy sector also generates 16,000 jobs throughout its entire supply chain.
However, AMDEE warns of a gloomy forecast in 2022, estimating that wind energy investments will plunge 40 percent. AMDEE reports that the private sector spending in Mexico in 2022 will be equivalent to US$900 million, resulting in 40 percent less compared to US$1.5 billion recorded in 2021. The current investment figure corresponds to projects that remain without operation permits or are in the final stages of construction.
Experts warn that if the lack of legal clarity in the industry continues, there will be no new projects at the end of this administration, meaning no new additions of installed capacity. José Ramón Ardavín, executive director of the Private Sector Studies Commission for Sustainable Development said "the uncertainty not only affects the wind energy sector, but also the environmental sector and its goals for reducing polluting emissions."