Wind power is clean, economic, safe, abundant, and creates jobs. The few existent drawbacks of using this technology along with its multiple benefits have placed wind power as one of the most popular energy sources worldwide. Mexico started to realize the potential of wind energy after the inauguration of its first wind farm in Oaxaca, in 1994. Following that project, 30 more wind farms have been added to the country’s landscape and are already in operation, totaling 1,570 wind turbines with a total capacity of 2.55GW. These numbers place Mexico among the top five Latin American countries with the largest installed capacity for wind power.
Just as in the early days, Oaxaca continues to be the number one producer of wind energy in Mexico, but wind farms are now also present in Baja California, Baja California Sur, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Jalisco, Tamaulipas, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan. This variety of locations evidences Mexico’s great wind resources. With this enormous potential in mind, the Mexican government has decided to make of wind energy its best ally in achieving the country’s clean energy ambitions.
To date, Mexico is the tenth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Nevertheless, the country is highly committed to reducing its carbon emissions as demonstrated by its active participation in the last Conferences of Parties held in Paris (COP21). As part of its climate commitments, Mexico pledged to reduce 22% of its emissions by 2030, which will be possible partly due to the increasing share of renewables in the country’s energy mix. Mexico had already established the goal of having 35% of power generation from clean energy sources by 2024, and 50% of this goal is expected to be covered by the wind sector.
Following this path, in the last quarter of 2015, the government announced its plans for increasing the country’s wind power capacity fivefold, adding 10GW to the installed capacity within the next three years. To reach this objective, it is calculated that investments of US$46 billion will be required. The announcement was made in a timely fashion, as Mexico is about to launch its wholesale electricity market, which is expected to boost the development of renewable energy projects in the country through the implementation of tradable clean energy certificates and allowing clean energy producers to sell its power directly to the market.
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