Solar energy is established as the engine of renewables in Mexico


Photovoltaic electricity generation has had an increase of 528% from 2018 to 2021 and only last year 20,194 gigawatt hours were generated through this purely renewable technology, which has resulted in strong support in the scope of the country’s clean energy commitments, but according to government discourse and given the exponential growth achieved in the last four years, it will be difficult to maintain the rate of growth seen so far.

According to the Program for the Development of the National Electric System (Prodesen), published this Wednesday by the Ministry of Energy, from one year to the next, by 2021 the increase in this type of generation was 27%, but previously the year-on-year increase it was 59% and from 2018 to 2019 photovoltaic generation in the country grew no less than 210 percent.

And it is that thanks to the implementation of the 2014 reform, particularly regarding the commitments to generate renewable energy, which does not emit CO2 and also does not have other environmental externalities, that is, wind and photovoltaic energy, and to long-term auctions for its acquisition, renewable generation increased 49% from 2018 to 2021 and only in the last year the increase was 18%, with which an effective renewable generation of 81,825 gigawatt hours (GWh) was reached.

Between 2019 and 2020 alone, the increase in renewable generation in the country was 20.8%, after 69,136 gigawatt hours were generated in 2020. Previously, from 2018 to 2019, the increase was only 4.16% in renewables.

With this, 24.9% of electricity generation was renewable in the country last year, as published by the Ministry of Energy. However, as stated in the Business Plan of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and as expressed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, although a photovoltaic plant for the state-owned electricity company will be built in Sonora, clean energy policy will focus on in the repowering of 14 existing hydroelectric plants and the increase in a geothermal plant of the state company, with which clean energy, which does have environmental externalities although it does not emit greenhouse gases, will be the support to reach the goal of 35% of this type of energy, after last year it constituted 29.5% of electricity generation.

Meanwhile, wind generation has had an increase of 69% from 2018 to 2021 and last year, according to Prodesen, national wind generation was 21,074 gigawatt hours.

The annual increase that occurred in this type of generation was 6.9%, while the previous year the growth was 18% between one year and another and in the same way, as projects were started under financing schemes of the reform and protected In its programs, such as long-term auctions and bilateral contracts, the annual increase in wind generation between 2018 and 2019 was 34.5 percent.

They keep goals

Before the end of May, as required by law, the Ministry of Energy (Sener) published the Program for the Development of the National Electric System (Prodesen) 2022-2036, where it establishes the strategy to follow to cover the country’s energy demand in the next 15 years. It should be noted that once again it commits to reaching 35% clean energy in 2024, although it does not explain how the energy basket will be composed for that year.

In 2021, the goal set was to reach 30%, but only 29.5% was achieved, a breach that was justified by Sener due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This document defines the planning of the National Electric System, which includes the relevant elements of other planning instruments, such as the Indicative Program for the Installation and Removal of Power Plants, as well as the expansion and modernization programs of the National Transmission Network and General Distribution Networks, explained Sener.

In long-term planning, the criteria must guarantee the economic viability of the investments required for national development without affecting State investments and allowing the contribution of the social and private sectors,” the document details. Prodesen is made up of nine chapters that cover the different areas of the SEN.

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