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12,000 MW Of Renewables Possible By 2020 For Mexico

At the Annual Energy Border Forum in October, a number of insiders discussed the potential for Mexico to grow its renewable power capacity to 12 GW (12,000 MW) in a short period of time, a target 2020 wind target I reported on back in May.


A member of the Asociación Mexicana de Energía Eólica, Pablo Gottfried Blackmore, said: “Our goal is 12 GW, and the Secretaria de Energia already has adopted that number. Studies we have analyzed seem to agree that there is 20 GW of wind potential in Mexico that would be competitive with gas prices. It is critical to bring in the small producers to reach this goal, however.” Part of the plan might include turning the US-Mexican border into an energy corridor.

In October of this year, Mexico’s wind power capacity was about 1,000 MW. That number might be expanded to 2,500 MW by 2014. In 2002, it was just 2 MW.

Sonora state has the best insolation rate in North America. According to one source, a single area dedicated to solar power production may have the potential to power the whole country. “Assuming a net system efficiency of 15%, a square of 25 km in Chihuahua or in the Sonora desert would be sufficient to supply all of Mexico’s electricity (based on information provided by Energy Department and GTZ (2009) at the ‘Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development in México’ study).”

The passing of a clean climate law in Mexico has been part of the country’s emerging renewable energy transition. Sales of Mexican crude oil for export have been declining due to aging oil fields and underinvestment. It will be fascinating to see if Mexico can ramp up its wind and solar power quickly, and what impact that could have on its national economy.

Image Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde

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