Renewables Are Fastest Growing Energy Source in Mexico: SENER
The Ministry of Energy (SENER) recently released its 2021 National Energy Balance report, which revealed that renewable energy production boasted the highest growth of all energy sources between 2020 and 2021 by increasing around 36%.
According to SENER, renewable energy ranks third in the national primary energy production sources, providing 14.73% of the country’s energy. Oil took first place in this category with 55.15% followed by natural gas, which reached 22.26%. Meanwhile, the last places consist of condensates with 4.15%, coal with 1.94% and nuclear energy with 1.76%.
The report shows that between 2020 and 2021, renewable energy grew by 36.64%, going from 763.32PJ to 1,042.97PJ. Solar, hydroelectric and geothermal power led energy production with increases of 196%, 191% and 134% respectively. However, during this period, geothermal and biomass-based energy showed decreases of 17.84% and 18.70% respectively. In the case of biomass, the use of firewood fell by over 25%.
The balance highlights the benefits of using geothermal energy, which includes negligible greenhouse gas emissions, continuous power for the grid and competitive costs in comparison to conventional thermoelectric and nuclear power plants. On an international scale, Mexico holds sixth place in installed Geothermal power capacity. Currently, there are five geothermal stations in the country: Cerro Prieto in Baja California, Los Azufres in Michoacan, Los Humeros in Puebla, Tres Vírgenes in Baja California Sur and Domo San Pedro in Nayarit.
In early February, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced it will support the development of geothermal energy in Mexico through the Financing and Risk Transformation Program for Geothermal Energy (PFTRG).
The study also underscored the importance of hydroelectric power for renewable energy production, in which “Mexico has a clear advantage due to the existence of 105 hydroelectric plants in its territory.” In September 2021, Mexican delegates attended the World Hydroelectricity Congress in Paris, France, where leaders from around the world signed the San José Energy Declaration. This agreement identifies a new set of recommendations to guide new developments and improvements for the hydroelectric sector amid the global energy transition. In 2021, CFE announced the Hydroelectric Power Plants Restoration Project to make good on Mexico’s promises.
According to President López Obrador, the Mexican government is committed to make 35% of its power production come from renewable energy sources by 2024. So far, the government has bet on the success of the Sonora Plan, which includes the development of Puerto Peñasco’s solar park. On Feb. 17, 2022, President López Obrador inaugurated phase one of this solar plant, which is poised to become the largest solar park in Latin America and the seventh biggest in the world. The first stage has a projected annual electricity production of 1041.74GWh and is expected to begin commercial activity in May 2023.