PF Archive


19 12 2008

Mexico recently enacted a Renewable Energy Law that provides welcomes changes to a legal framework designed to promote economically viable renewable power. This article provides an overview of the types of renewable resources currently existing in México, the difficulties in implementing renewable energy projects, the Law and its potential impact on the Mexican renewable power industry. Mexico possesses large untapped renewable energy resources. Studies have determined that Mexico has national wind resources sufficient to generate in excess of 40,000MW. The wind conditions in the State of Oaxaca are among the best in the world and have the potential to generate 8,800MW. Baja California, Yucatan and Quintana Roo benefit from wind conditions that could potentially generate 274MW, 352MW and 157MW, respectively. With respect to solar resources, the desert regions of northern Mexico have one of the highest potentials in the world, with an average solar radiation coverage of 5kW per hour per square metre. As a region with considerable volcanic activity (specifically within the country's Volcanic Belt), Mexico is the world's third largest producer of electricity from geothermal sources. The geothermal resources located in the northern and south central regions alone have the potential to generate roughly 2,400MW. In the hydroelectric sector, large-scale facilities currently generate roughly 21% of the country's installed capacity, but such projects are difficult to implement and are capital intensive. Small-scale hydroelectric plants producing 10MW or less have the potential to generate approximately 3,250MW. Notwithstanding the resources available for renewable energy development, Mexico's total installed capacity from renewable sources, primarily from geothermal...