Image credits: Siegfried Poepperl
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News Article

Senate Puts Geothermal Energy in the Spotlight

By Anamary Olivas | Fri, 07/08/2022 - 16:18

Mexico’s Senate ascertained that geothermal projects are paramount for the country’s vital energy transition. This led to the legislators to ask the Ministry of Energy (SENER) and CFE to report on the state utility company’s current geothermal energy-focused programs.

 

Mexico is the third-largest producer of geothermal power worldwide, after the US and the Philippines, with an installed capacity of 853MW. Currently, there are four public geothermal fields operating: Cerro Prieto, Los Azufres, Los Humeros and Las Tres Vı́rgenes, accounting for 9.6GW of potential geothermal resources. Cerro Prieto is the second-largest geothermal field in the world, with 720MW and 138 production wells in operation, stated Gerardo Hiriart, Director General, GEOKERI.

 

“Promoting the development and use of geothermal energy will be key to reducing gas emissions and generating clean electricity regularly, in coordination with the stability that the National Electricity System can provide,” said Genaro Hiriart.

 

Geothermal energy is one of the cleanest sources. Greenhouse gas emissions from geothermal plants average 45 grams of carbon dioxide per Kwh. This could translate to significant progress for the energy transition, alongside benefits for the economy, quality of life, and the environment. In addition,  geothermal energy has a low cost, especially compared to wind and biomass. However, Mexico has not taken full advantage of this resource. As an example, Hiriart pointed out that of all the water used to produce electric energy, only 0.3 percent comes from underground sources. Some experts argue that even though the geothermal energy potential in this country is outstanding, a lack of organization is preventing Mexico to take advantage.

 

This led the Senate to highlight the need to review ways in which Mexico could benefit from this renewable energy resource in May 2022. SENER announced that the Geothermal Energy Law will grant CFE the opportunity to choose their geothermal field, while the rest can be exploited by private companies, reported Energy and Commerce. Around 104 projects are completed or already tendered. About 254 are still to be tendered from now until 2027.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Senate, GEOKERI
Photo by:   Siegfried Poepperl
Anamary Olivas Anamary Olivas Journalist & Industry Analyst