Mexico Declares War On Renewable Energy

National Economy

The population of the United Mexican States (Mexico) is approximately 131.92 million people[1]. In 2020, 99.4% of the people in this North American country had access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Mexico’s economy was ranked 15th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of cars, computers, vehicle parts, trucks, crude oil, beer, tropical fruits and tomatoes[4].

Environment Policies

In 2016, Mexico signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to a 25% reduction in greenhouse gases from a business-as-usual scenario by 2030.

In 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected the President and instituted policies to reinvigorate the state-owned national oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX).

In 2019, Mexico’s state-owned electricity utility, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) announced it would not initiate any further tenders for renewable energy.

In 2021, CFE used natural gas (60.5 %), renewable energy (23.2 %), oil (9.8 %), coal (4.0 %), and nuclear energy (3.5 %) to generate electricity in Mexico[6]. Hydropower, wind, solar, and geothermal are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Mexico.

Recent renewable energy projects in Mexico include:

  • 350 MW Solar Project – CFE announced plans to build a 350 MW solar park at a site approximately 100 miles east of the city of Tijuana in northwest Mexico. The solar park will be built in two stages. The 1st stage, Cerro Prieto is scheduled to be commissioned in 2023 and the 2nd stage, Cerro Prieto III is scheduled to be commissioned in 2029.
  • 50 MW Wind Project – In September 2022, Spanish renewable energy company, Elecnor commissioned the Eólica Coromuel wind project at a site approximately 800 miles southeast of Tijuana.

Conclusions

Commercial oil first was discovered in the Mexico[7] in 1901, approximately 175 miles northeast of the nation’s capital, Mexico City. In 2021, Mexico was the 14th largest crude oil[8] and exporting country in the world.

Crude oil production has steadily fallen in Mexico over the past decade. In 2012, Mexico produced over 2.6 million barrels of oil per day. In 2020, Mexico produced less than 1.7 million barrel oil per day.

However, crude oil export is still critical to Mexico’s economy. In 2020, Mexico exported[9] U.S. $17.8 Billion in crude oil.

Mexico has significant renewable energy resource potential, including solar, onshore wind, offshore wind, geothermal, and biomass. However, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has stopped all new renewable energy projects, mocked wind farms as “fans” that blight the landscape, and spent U.S. $9 billion in the construction of a new oil refinery[10].

Mexico’s electricity demand is forecast to steadily increase due to an improving economy and a growing population. Mexico’s state-owned utility, CFE has stated it intends to rely heavily on domestic oil and gas production to meet the country’s growing electricity requirements.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting in the United States, Canada, and the European Union to place embargos on Russian exports, including fossil fuels. As a result, the price for crude oil and liquified natural gas have both increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

The rise in the global oil price could provide Mexico the capital to develop new renewable energy projects, which could meet the nation’s growing power demands.

Sadly, the President of Mexico’s focus in development of the nation’s oil industry and has declared war on renewable energy.

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a wide range of energy topics.

 

[1] Mexico Population (2022) –  September 21, 2022, www.worldometers.info

[2] The World Bank Group, Access to Electricity (% of Population – Mexico)

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2021 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity – Mexico

[5] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Mexico: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] “Petroleum: Pre-1938” in Encyclopedia of Mexico by Jonathan C. Brown, 1997

[8] Crude Oil – Exports – The World Fact Book – CIA

[9] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Mexico Exports

[10] Los Angeles Times, “For Mexico’s President, The Future Isn’t Renewable Energy — It’s Coal” by Gary Coronado, April 12, 2021

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