The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO) revealed that clean energy generation decreased 1.8% between 2021 and 2022, due to lower wind and solar energy generation. However, overall renewable energy production has grown 48.4% since 2017.
According to data from the National Energy Control Center (CENACE), over the past six years, electricity generation in Mexico has grown 10.3%, going from 302.8TWh in 2017 to 333.8TWh in 2022. This growth is attributed almost entirely to an uptick in electricity generation through renewable technologies. Between 2017 and 2022, clean energy increased 48.4%, from 58.7TWh to 87.2TWh, while energy generated from fossil fuels barely grew 1.1%, from 244.0TWh to 246.6TWh.
CENACE reported the use of six clean energy generation technologies during this six-year period: biomass, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear-electric and solar photovoltaic. From 2017 to 2022, nuclear-electric and geothermal generation fell 0.3% and 23.4%, respectively. Hydropower, on the other hand, grew 12.3%, from 31.7TWh to 35.6TWh. Nonetheless, IMCO pointed out that the advance in hydropower is not good news in terms of the energy transition. While contributing to the achievement of clean energy generation targets, hydropower has a negative impact in terms of water availability in the country.
Solar photovoltaic and wind generation showed the highest growth rates during the analyzed period. Between 2017 and 2022, solar photovoltaic energy grew 4,595%, from 0.3TWh to 16.3 TWh, while wind energy rose 94.3%, from 10.5TWh to 20.3 TWh. Growth of these two technologies was fostered by the development of the Wholesale Electricity Market (MEM) and the long-term electric auctions held between 2015 and 2017.
In 2017, 19.4% of the country’s electricity production was supported by clean technologies. In 2022, this proportion increased to 26.1%. However, between 2021 and 2022, clean energy generation dropped 1.8% from 88.8TWh to 87.2TWh. During this period, wind energy decreased 3.6%, while solar photovoltaic went down by 4.6%.
The current rate of renewable energy production is almost nine percentage points below the 35% target set in national legislation and the Paris Agreement, to be reached by 2024. IMCO stressed that if low-emissions projects are not accelerated, the country will become less competitive, particularly in a context where providing clean energy is as important as the reliability of the electricity system or energy prices.