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Published on December 9th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


Mexico a Solar Energy Gold Mine

December 9th, 2010 by  

Mexico City solar potential

A new report out from Mexico’s energy department, SENER, delves deeply into the nation’s vast solar energy potential, which is well above that of current solar energy leaders Germany and Spain. The report, Solar Energy Sector has a ton of info on the solar potential of Mexico, but here are a number of key findings:

  • Only 0.06% of Mexico (in land area) would be needed to power the entire nation from solar energy (according to 2005 usage rates).
  • “Mexico’s average solar resources for PV (5 kWh/m2/day) are more than 60% higher than the best solar in Germany (5.4 GW of installed PV).”
  • “PV installed in many cities across Northern and Central Mexico has an ‘energy payback time’ (EPBT) of less than two years.”
  • “Northern Mexico’s Direct Normal Insolation is equivalent to the best in the U.S. Southwest and in the North African deserts.”

Of course, Mexico isn’t living up to its solar potential yet. “Mexico is seriously underdeveloped in terms of solar energy technologies like solar photovoltaic (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP) and passive solar thermal (i.e., hot water heating),” CalFinder Solar reports. “For example, as of a 2007-08 report – Mexico Solar Installations by Type – there are no concentrating solar power plants in Mexico, and 80 percent of the solar PV installations are not grid-connected. Moreover, 78 percent of the solar thermal installations are for heating swimming pools rather than residential wash water.”

With Mexico City signing historic climate change legislation last week and the “Renewable Energy Development and Financing for Energy Transition Law” (LAERFTE in Mexico) in place since November 2008, hopefully the country will be tapping into its solar resources a lot more soon.

Image via Greentech Media 

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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