Mexico taps into renewables, with wind power leading the charge

Currently, Mexico’s energy matrix indicates a heavy reliance on thermal sources (such as fossil fuels) for energy production. Natural gas has become the largest form of thermal energy in Mexico, with a 54 percent stake in the country’s total electricity production in 2015. As Mexico’s reliance on natural gas has increased, the country has increasingly depended on trade with the United States for its supply. Figures indicate that pipeline exports to Mexico have doubled in the past two years. In today’s political climate, the growing reliance on U.S. natural gas imports comes with a measure of risk. Francisco Blanch, head of commodity markets research at Bank of America, argues that protectionist moves by the Trump administration threaten to curtail the flow of fuel across the border. Mexico is likely to increasingly look to renewable sources of energy to counter the risk.

Planned expansion of wind power

Compared to energy produced from nuclear and hydroelectric sources, the full potential in wind generation has so far been unexploited. Nonetheless, Mexico’s energy ministry, SENER, predicts an increasing role for wind power in the coming years.

In the short to medium term, SENER’s projections of wind energy production far surpass the combined generation from all other renewable sources. Meanwhile, the importance of natural gas in the energy matrix is expected to noticeably diminish.

SENER works closely with the Mexican Wind Power Association (AMDEE), which was formed in 2005 to promote the development of the wind power industry in Mexico. The association places particular emphasis on wind energy’s environmental benefits. Official AMDEE diagrams suggest an aggressive expansion in wind farms in the next few years, with MW generation from wind energy expected to increase almost four-fold from 2016 to 2020.

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