Uncertainty Strains Renewable Energy Development in MexicoBy Cas Biekmann | Thu, 04/22/2021 - 18:02
The Mexican energy sector’s state of uncertainty is translating to lower renewable project developments. In other news, the government’s plan to rely strongly on hydroelectricity is questioned. Read the roundup and find out more!
The heavy regulatory changes that have marked Mexico’s energy sector during the last two years are beginning to show an effect in terms of a decrease in new renewable energy developments, reports BNAmericas. SENER data shows a significant slowdown in 2020, with 10 percent less solar capacity and 50 percent less wind capacity being installed compared to 2019. Nevertheless, 2021 does look promising in terms of added distributed generation capacity.
To mitigate the lower participation of what the public sector sees as an intermittent solar and wind energy problem, CFE and the government are gearing up to renovate Mexico’s hydroelectric capacity. According to Energía a Debate, further proposals to construct new hydropower capacity are in the cards as well. Institutes like the Climate Initiative of Mexico (ICM) spoke against the plans in an event hosted by the Citizen Observatory of Air Quality (OCCA).
To avoid problems like the gas shortage that affected Mexico earlier this year due to a Texas freeze, a state that exports Mexico with natural gas, deeper integration would be key. “I would advocate for greater integration between the markets, and more diversification of energy sources on both sides of the border. In an emergency situation where energy supplies are limited, it is always necessary to triage and send supplies to areas where they are most critical,” said Lorena Patterson, Senior Energy Specialist and Strategist at Natural Gas Intel.
S&P Global reports that Mexico Pacific sees an LNG project that would export Permian Basin natural gas from Mexico's west coast as a ‘dark horse project’, quietly betting on its success. Even though the project is still waiting for an export permit from the Mexican government, the executives expect this to be sorted by mid 2021.
A project that uses gravity to generate electricity through a battery that works to stabilize the grid is now operational in Edinburgh, according to the BBC. The US$1.4 million ‘Gravitricity’ project uses excess power to raise heavy weights, which keep the energy stored until it is needed. At this point, weights are dropped and electricity is generated.
Spanish utility giant Iberdrola noted a global renewable net power production of 22,798 GWh in January through March 2021. Compared to the first quarter of 2020, this represents an increase of 13.3 percent, Renewables Now reported.