The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released an in-depth report on the potential for clean energy development in Mexico. Mexico’s Clean Energy Report concludes that due to this potential and the low cost for renewable energy generation, Mexico is well-positioned to become a major clean energy producer. According to the report, rapid growth in renewable energy deployment could enable Mexico to achieve its 35% clean energy generation goal by 2024, generate high levels of investment, increase energy access, reduce costs to consumers, and – together with other technical measures – improve the reliability and resilience of Mexico’s power system.
“Mexico can be a clean energy powerhouse and a vital part of maintaining North America’s competitive edge around the world,” states Martin Keller, NREL Laboratory’s director. “Realizing this potential will require energy policies that facilitate private investment and support our joint efforts on clean energy, climate, and supply chains.”
Mexico’s large and diverse renewable energy resource base could support significant growth in clean generation capacity. National technical potential includes 24,918 GW of solar photovoltaics, 3,669 GW of wind, 2.5 GW of conventional geothermal, and 1.2 GW of additional capacity from existing hydropower facilities – all combined, enough to meet the country’s electricity needs a hundred times over.
Mexico could quickly realize its potential if there is enough private sector investment. Mexico could bring online 15,257 MW worth of renewable energy even in the short-term. The cost of producing electricity could be greatly reduced by this investment. This could save the Mexican national system $1.1billion and generate $17billion in new investment opportunities. Mexico could also create more than 72,000 jobs and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
This study reveals that Mexico needs private sector investment to reach its clean energy goals. The investments needed to achieve these gains, however, would have a very low probability of occurring if changes are made to Mexico’s current legal, regulatory, and electricity market frameworks that would result in significant barriers to market entry.
The NREL report demonstrates the importance of Mexico as a leader in clean energy to boost North American competitiveness. This message was also conveyed by Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary for Energy, during her January 2022 visit to Mexico.
You can read the entire NREL report here.