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IRENA: Mexico can more than quadruple share of renewable energy by 2030

Mexico can increase the use of renewable energy in its energy mix from 4.4% in 2010 to 21% by 2030, according to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable Energy Prospects: Mexico, prepared in collaboration with the Mexican Energy Secretariat (SENER), also finds that Mexico could generate up to 46% of its electricity by 2030 from renewable sources including wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and biomass—a six-fold increase from today’s levels.

Current plans, however, would only achieve a 10% share of renewables by 2030. Policy changes in the power market are needed to unleash Mexico’s renewable energy potential, with planning for expanded infrastructure and grid integration. New policies are also needed to promote the uptake of renewable energy for heat and fuel applications in buildings, industry and transport.

The scale-up of renewables can drive diversification in Mexico’s energy supply, potentially reducing coal demand by 62%, natural gas by 21% and oil by 6% in 2030, compared to what current policies would achieve.

Mexico could generate up to 46% of its electricity, or 280 terawatt-hours (TWh), from renewable sources each year. This would require the deployment of 30 gigawatts (GW) of wind and 20 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation, which could account for a combined 26% of total power generation in 2030.

Small and large hydropower could contribute about 12% (26 GW), geothermal energy 5% (4.3 GW) and biomass 2.5% (4 GW).

Total biomass consumption in end-use sectors, including for heating or as transport fuels, could reach 685 petajoules (PJ), representing more than one-third of total renewable energy use. Traditional uses of biomass for cooking or heating—which carry health and ecological risks—would be replaced by up-to-date forms of biomass and other renewable energy consumption.

Mexico represents one-fifth of all energy use in the Latin America and Caribbean region and is key to ensuring a successful regional transition to renewable energy. With the recent energy sector reform, Mexico is now on the path of rapid renewables growth, which can help secure a safer, healthier and more sustainable future.

—Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA

If Mexico succeeds in reaching a 21% share of renewable energy, it will save US$1.6 billion in total energy system costs by 2030. Annual savings could reach as high as US$11.6 billion by 2030 when taking into account factors like reduced health costs and pollution.

The report is part of IRENA’s renewable energy roadmap, REmap 2030, which provides a plan to double the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030 and determines the potential for Mexico and other countries to scale up renewable energy in the energy system, including power, industry, buildings, and the transport sector. To date, three other country specific reports have been published including China, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.



Southern USA and many countries could do about the same if the will to do it (or the need) is there.


Harvey, I had thought that the threat of Global Warming made the question of Need, pretty much a foregone conclusion. However, it is all very well for bodies like IRENA to tell countries like Mexico that they Could do this, but they seem not to be saying How, ie where the funding might come from.The quoted potential savings arising from the switch to renewables can look like quite a carrott, but in reality, would they even pay the interest on any loans taken to invest this way?

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