Leopoldo Rodríguez, President, the Mexican Wind Energy Association (AMDEE) stated that about 800 MW of wind power capacity, corresponding to seven wind farms, remains stuck due to a lack of permits. He stressed that the private energy sector is willing to contribute about 37 percent to Mexico’s clean power production goals set at COP27, provided that some market conditions are met.
Rodríguez explained that the seven wind farms are finished but the stalled approval of their permits has delayed operations. "They are waiting to be authorized to enter into commercial operation, some are carrying out tests but need an update for permits so they can begin to operate," Rodriguez said.
During the COP27, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in November, Marcelo Ebrad, Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, committed to increasing renewable energy generation in the next eight years to reach a 40 GW capacity. Furthermore, he announced an increase in the emission reduction target from 22 to 35 percent by 2030.
Rodríguez said private companies have the capacity to contribute 15GW of clean energy to support Mexico’s energy transition. This will account for 37 percent of the clean energy generation targets that Mexico committed to achieving by 2030. According to Rodríguez, this would imply an investment of US$15 billion and would generate between 25,000 and 30,000 jobs.
The regulatory blockage by the federal government has also affected other projects already in an advanced stage, which would add an extra 5GW of renewable power capacity. "Once the permits are authorized, these projects can be built and financed rather quickly," Rodriguez said. Furthermore, an additional 10 to 20 GW could be implemented toward 2030 if the government were to consider the development of offshore wind technology.
The AMDEE president is confident that the goals established by the federal government can be reached if old power plants are replaced with renewable electricity generation facilities. “In addition to investing in new plants, transmission and distribution networks are also required, as well as battery storage systems,” Rodriguez added. Rodríguez highlighted that to achieve net zero emissions, a reliable electricity system with renewable energy sources, where private companies and the government work together, is essential.
Rodríguez asserted that a detailed, comprehensive plan is needed to accomplish the goal of reducing 35 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. He highlighted that the roles that the private sector and the government will play in this transition need to be defined soon.
In this regard, the reduction in the costs of renewable energy technologies is favorable. Rodríguez explained that in Mexico, the price of clean power tech has been reduced by 70 percent since 2006. “In 2009, when the installation of wind farms began in the country, the average cost was about US$2.6 million/MW, today it stands at US$1 million/MW,” Rodríguez pointed out.