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Why Wind Energy Is Essential in Climate Fight, Energy Transition

By Jesús Abril Medina - AES Mexico
Business Development Director México


 Jesús Abril Medina By Jesús Abril Medina | Business Development Director México - Mon, 07/24/2023 - 10:54

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We live in a time when our planet is facing unprecedented challenges due to climate change, and it is crucial that we transition to cleaner and more sustainable forms of energy. Wind power has emerged as a key solution in this endeavor, offering numerous environmental and economic benefits.

Over the past few decades, wind power has experienced remarkable progress and development. It has evolved from a simple concept to a highly efficient and cost-effective source of renewable energy. The use of wind power dates back to ancient times, with civilizations harnessing the energy of the wind through windmills for various tasks. However, it is in recent years that wind energy has truly come into its own as a viable solution for large-scale electricity generation.

Technological advances in wind turbine design, such as the incorporation of more efficient blades and the use of high-capacity generators, have contributed to the growth of wind energy. In addition, increased awareness of environmental issues and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have led to greater interest in renewable energy sources like wind power.

Today, wind energy has become an important source of electricity generation in many countries. Against this backdrop,, challenges to exploring its full potential include:

  • Grid integration: Wind energy is intermittent and depends on the availability of wind, which can create challenges with its integration into the electricity grid. It is necessary to develop efficient energy storage systems and improve demand management to ensure a constant and stable supply.

  • Environmental impact and social acceptance: Despite being a clean energy source, the installation of wind farms can generate environmental and landscape impact concerns. It is essential to address these issues and foster social acceptance through proper dialogue and planning.

  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs: Although wind technology has advanced significantly, there are still opportunities to improve turbine efficiency and reduce installation and maintenance costs. This will allow wind energy to be more competitive compared to other energy sources.

  • Offshore wind farm development: Offshore wind farms present great potential, but also bring additional technical and logistical challenges. Continued research and development are required to overcome obstacles, such as construction in deep water and maintenance in hostile marine environments.

In Mexico, wind energy has experienced significant growth in recent years. The country has great wind potential due to its favorable geographic location, with extensive coastal areas and mountainous regions conducive to wind power generation. This means that the country has the capacity to take advantage of this natural resource and meet its growing energy demand. 

However, one of the main challenges is the identification and selection of suitable sites for the installation of wind farms. This involves conducting exhaustive studies of wind resources and evaluating the environmental and social impact of the projects. 

In addition, proper operation and maintenance of wind farms is essential to ensure their efficiency and extended service life. This implies having trained personnel and access to monitoring and diagnostic technologies to detect and solve any problems or failures in the wind turbines in a timely manner. Also, to promote the development of wind energy in Mexico, it is necessary to strengthen the national supply chain. This involves encouraging local manufacturing and production of key components, such as turbines and blades, as well as promoting training and skills development in the sector.

Regarding people, the participation and consultation of local communities in the development of wind projects is crucial. Transparent communication, identification and mitigation of potential social and environmental impacts as well as the engagement and benefit mechanisms for communities near wind farms are essential. 

Regulatory frameworks and energy policies that can provide incentives and guarantees for investors are also necessary, since it is essential to boost wind energy development. 

Addressing all these challenges will require close collaboration between the government,  private sector, local communities and other relevant stakeholders. With the right approach and the implementation of effective policies and measures, Mexico can take full advantage of wind energy's potential and move toward a more sustainable future in terms of power generation. There are opportunities that, with joint support, open up a vision of a promising future for the country.

Wind energy holds tremendous potential and offers numerous benefits, making it a crucial player in our efforts to combat climate change. By harnessing the power of the wind, we can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on our planet.

Investing in wind energy is not only essential but also highly advantageous. By expanding our investment in this renewable energy source, we can establish a cleaner and more sustainable energy infrastructure. This diversification of our energy matrix reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, which are finite resources with detrimental environmental impacts. Wind energy provides a reliable and abundant source of power, enabling us to meet our energy needs while minimizing our carbon footprint.

One of the significant advantages of wind energy is its potential to drive economic growth and development. The development, construction, and operation of wind farms create numerous job opportunities across various sectors. This job creation stimulates local economies, enhances employment rates, and boosts income for communities. Additionally, wind energy projects attract investments, both domestic and foreign, which further contribute to economic prosperity. 

Moreover, wind energy fosters innovation and technological advancements. As the industry continues to grow, there is a constant drive to improve wind turbine efficiency, enhance energy storage solutions, and optimize grid integration. This pursuit of innovation not only makes wind energy more cost-effective but also encourages advancements in related industries, ultimately benefiting society as a whole.

 By embracing wind energy, we demonstrate our commitment to a sustainable and greener future. It offers a practical solution to combat climate change, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and foster technological progress. It is imperative that we continue to invest in wind energy, leveraging its vast potential to shape a sustainable energy landscape and mitigate the effects of climate change for the well-being of current and future generations.

An interesting fact is that Mexico aims for 35% of its energy to be clean by 2024, according to the publication of the Mexican Energy Transition Law announced in 2015. According to the Ministry of Energy, in 2018, Mexico generated 22.5% and last year 29.5%. The goals of  power generation were 25% and 30%, previously. This represents a very important opportunity in the energy market to obtain new investments, as well as the authorizations for new renewable power plants in the country.

Data from the research firm Mexico Energy Partners shows Mexico is the seventh-largest producer of wind energy in the world, producing around 8.3GW in 2021. Also, according to data from the Energy Sector Intelligence Observatory (OISE), it is expected that in the next 24 years, US$2 billion a year will be invested to produce this type of energy.

In the case of AES Mexico, a subsidiary of AES Corporation, it has a significant role in the Mexican power generation market, both in the traditional and alternative energy sectors.

Our Mesa la Paz wind farm, located in the municipality of Llera de Canales, generates 306MW in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, near the Gulf Coast of Mexico, providing clean and sustainable energy capable of supplying around 580,000 homes.

Eólica Mesa La Paz is the result of an alliance between AES Mexico and Energía Eléctrica BAL. This project  consolidates AES as a relevant player in the generation of low-emission electricity in Mexico and positions it as a leader in a responsible transition to more sustainable energy sources by balancing economic and environmental factors, which increasingly satisfies its stakeholders.

AES Mexico is committed to care for the environment by taking actions that generate a positive impact on present and future generations; that is why sustainability is the heart of its strategy and corporate culture, assuming the responsibility of contributing to transcendental projects of collaboration between the public and private sectors that promote sustainable development in Mexico.

In summary, the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels necessitates the development of alternative energy sources. Mexico's favorable position and strong investment potential make it an ideal candidate to spearhead this transition. By embracing clean energy, Mexico can simultaneously address environmental challenges, create economic opportunities, and contribute to a more sustainable global energy landscape.

Photo by:   Jesús Abril Medina

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