Mexican Renewable Energy Market Set to Soar in 2013

Oaxaca I Lamatalaventosa Wind Farm in Mexico
Walmart de Mexico y Centroamerica will purchase all of the energy created by the Oaxaca I Lamatalaventosa Wind Farm for the next 15 years.
(cc) Walmart

Mexico is set to become an increasingly important and prosperous renewable energy market. Despite the recent change in government, the mood for the continued growth of the sector remains optimistic. With no feed in tariffs liable to change there are many factors driving momentum beyond political parameters:

  • Vast Untapped Resources — Mexico has an estimated 45 GW solar potential and 71 GW wind power potential.
  • Ambitious Targets — Mexico beat its own renewable energy target by generating 26% of electricity from renewables in 2012, aiming for 35% by 2024.
  • Growing Electricity Demand — Mexico will require an estimated 27 GW of new capacity over the next 15 years to cover growing demand.
  • Stable Investment Environment — Private clean energy investment in Mexico increased by 273% in 2010, with Latin America attracting $63.1 billion investment in 2011.
  • An Emerging Manufacturing Superpower — With heavy industry relocating to Mexico, opportunities for commercial scale generation are huge.
  • Committed to Sustainable Growth — Mexico has become the only industrializing nation to put into national legislation long-term climate targets.

Expansion of wind power operations in particular has been hitting the news, with Enel Green Power connecting a 70 MW wind farm to the gird in Oaxaca, and Vestas recently receiving a 54 MW turbine order from an unnamed customer. With the government’s optimism at reaching a wind energy target of 12 GW by 2020 and commitment to the market expressed by key players including Iberdrola and Suzlon, a key challenge will now be expanding developments beyond the Oaxaca region.

Momentum behind the solar industry is also growing with Sonora Energy Group de Hermosillo (SEGH) working on a 39 MW photovoltaic plant and LG set to supply a 100 MW solar park also in Sonora. The State of Zacatecas recently unveiled a 200 KW system at the international airport, and Chihuahua State has enlisted Schneider to build a 250 KW system to power a local hospital.

Large commercial companies are also looking to renewables to avoid increasing energy bills and to fulfill ambitious CSR targets. For example, the food processing company Palsgard now satisfies 85% of their energy usage via solar energy, while Grupo Bimbo recently opened a 90 MW wind farm to power 45 of its facilities.

Domestic markets are also emerging, especially for roof mounted photovoltaic systems, due to the DAC tariff forcing the bills of high power consumers sky high.

From May 28th to 30th, the Mexican International Renewable Energy Congress will return to Mexico City to unite this rapidly expanding Mexican industry with global project developers, investors, and service providers.

Confirmed speakers already include senior speakers from wind, solar, and renewable energy finance industries:

  • Ernesto Bachtold Moreno, Director of Environmental Impact of Renewable Energy Resources, SEMARNAT
  • Alejandro Peraza García, Director General, Comisión Reguladora de Energía (CRE)
  • Miguel Hidalgo, Managing Director Mexico & Latin America, Palsgaard Mexico
  • Cesar Martín, General Manager, Consorcio Integrador Sonora80M
  • Nancy Hartsoch, Vice President, Solfocus
  • Edgar Arvizu, Head, Power Markets & Strategy, Gestamp Solar
  • Eduardo Andrade Iturribarria, Corporate Director, Latin America, Iberdrola
  • Alexander von Welczeck, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Clean Power Goup
  • Manuel Gomez Peña, Director of Sustainability, Wal- Mart
  • Franciso Casillas, Vice President, Financial Planning, Grupo Bimbo
  • Jose Ruiz, Director, Project Development, North American Development Bank
  • Daniel Mallo, Managing Director, Project Finance, Société Générale
  • Randy Avon, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific Development Corp
  • Pablo Sánchez, Head of Structured Finance for Mexico, BBVA Bancomer

For links to 3rd Annual Wind Power Mexico and other renewable energy events, check Energy Insight’s Renewable Energy Conferences and Expos page.

Read Renewable Energy Project Development Under the Clean Development Mechanism: A Guide for Latin America from Amazon.