NREL Optimistic About Mexico’s Clean Energy Potential
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NREL Optimistic About Mexico’s Clean Energy Potential

Photo by:   American Public Power Association, Unsplash
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By Kristelle Gutiérrez | Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst - Mon, 04/25/2022 - 15:49

On April 7, the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released an in-depth report about the potential of clean energy development in Mexico. According to the report, Mexico has abundant solar and wind resources and untapped potential to benefit from geothermal and hydroelectric energy. The laboratory, therefore, asserts that Mexico could very well become a clean energy powerhouse, though a seemingly adverse policy environment could hamper the country’s renewable energy development.


Lately, experts and government institutions determined that Mexico’s renewable energy transition has not been progressing fast enough. Therefore, the goal to reach 35 percent of clean energy generation by 2024 remains out of reach. Most recently, the Ministry of Energy (SENER) estimated in its development program PRODESEN (2020-2034) that this goal will take a year longer to achieve, but it highlighted that clean energy capacity in 2025 will be “slightly higher” than what was previously established in return.


Nevertheless, NREL’s Mexico Clean Energy Report is optimistic about the country’s untapped potential and the low costs required to produce clean energy. The energy expert suggests that rapid growth in renewable energy deployment should be possible, which could enable Mexico to reach its 35 percent goal by 2024, as well as “generate high levels of investment, increase energy access, reduce costs to consumers” and assure the overall strength of the Mexican clean energy matrix.


NREL is the US Department of Energy’s primary laboratory for renewable energy research and development. In its report, the laboratory emphasized the critical role that Mexico could play as a clean energy leader to further impel North American competitiveness.  


Martin Keller, Laboratory Director, NREL emphasized that in order to make good on the potential, several energy policies will have to be put in motion, including facilitating private investment in the energy sector and supporting “our joint efforts on clean energy, climate and supply chains”. These policies are unlikely to happen if President López Obrador continues to pursue a stronger role for CFE in the market, thereby hampering the participation of the private sector. Additionally, the government’s reform efforts are said to prioritize CFE’s fossil fuel-based power production over renewable energy sources operated by the private sector.


John Kerry, the US Special Climate Envoy, recently urged López Obrador to complete the clean energy transition as soon as possible and reassured the press that the US is ready to support it. “What we want to do is work with Mexico in a way that will strengthen ... the ability of the marketplace to be able to be open and competitive,” Kerry commented.

Photo by:   American Public Power Association, Unsplash

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