Renewable energy in Mexico plays a major role in the country’s electricity generation. In fact, hydro power, geothermal power, and solar power contribute up to 26% to the country’s national grid. However, a Mexican congressman believes that the North American country’s natural energy sources will power more than just the grid; they will boost the economy.
Congressman Gerardo Villanueva from the Movimiento Ciudadano Party said that a bill on energy secondary legislation has been making the rounds in Congress. Once passed, the bill will allow Mexico to make the most from its strategic geopolitical location. According to Villanueva, “We must consider the issue of renewable energies that might substitute for oil.” This is because Mexico apparently has only 10 years worth of oil reserves. “This is not the oil century any more… There will be other alternative resources besides shale gas,” he added.
The government is also showing its support for the generation of alternative energy. In addition to possibly funding studies on alternative energy sources in the future, the Mexican delegation to the Fifth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM5) in Seoul has announced that the country plans to grow its renewable energy sources to 33%. Mexico’s Secretary of Energy (SENER) Pedro Joaquin Coldwell believes that a 33% increase will be achievable under the light of numerous energy sector reforms that took place in 2012.
During CEM5, the Mexican delegation also mentioned that it has a revolutionary energy model in the pipeline. The changes featured in the new model will make use of the USD 300 million worth of changes President Enrique Pena Nieto has made to improve Mexico’s infrastructure since he came to power in December 2012.
Coldwell is quite optimistic since he believes that its benefits will attract numerous investors. “Both large companies with cutting-edge technology and those who want to put a solar panel on the roof of their house to do so, to acquire a solar heater or to lease a part of their land for wind generation,” he said.
Mexico is currently the fifth in a list of 24 countries that rely on geothermal resources to generate electricity. However, it still gets 80% from fossil fuels, while the remaining 20% is divided between renewable resources (17%) and nuclear fission (3%).
The energy legislation is currently in debate at the Mexican Congress. Among those laws, a brand new law of geothermal is being discussed too, along with regulation for use of waters with the purpose of energy generation. The generation of other renewable energy sources is currently allowed, under some restrictions. However, liberalization of generation, supply and trading will boost opportunities for that industry to thrive.