By KELIN DILLON
According to insights from expert energy specialists, new energy policies implemented across Mexico by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) administration have slowed the nation’s wind farm development down to an almost glacial pace, with the country’s current crop of wind farms only growing in capacity by 2.2 percent during 2022.
This stands in stark contrast to Mexico’s wind farm development in previous years, which grew by 7.1 percent in 2021 and at an annual rate of 24.7 percent across the last 12 years.
Sector specialists have placed the blame for the wind farms’ decline in Mexico on AMLO’s national energy policies, which have controversially put the dirty energies produced by Mexico’s state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and state-owned electricity company the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) on priority over greener and cleaner energies like wind, as well as energies produced by the private sector – a course of action that’s drawn the ire of Mexico’s main trade partner, the United States.
“The current federal administration stopped the development of long-term electricity auctions, which at the time involved investments of 3.5 billion dollars,” detailed a report by the Nuevo León Energy Cluster, referencing data obtained from the Association Mexican Wind Energy Company (AMDEE).
“2022 will go down in history as a year of little wind growth, and Nuevo León will not be the exception,” added the report.
For director of energy of consulting firm Epscon Roberto Mercado, it’s López Obrador’s one-track-minded commitment to expanding the importance of Mexico’s national energy companies that’s put Mexico’s clean energy development on the back burner.
“Since this six-year term began, the fourth electricity auction was indefinitely suspended, even though the last one carried out resulted in a record price,” analyzed Mercado.
Likewise, while the Global Wind Energy Council anticipated in 2018 that Mexico would have 16,000 megawatts (MW) capacity of wind energy installed by the year 2024, AMLO’s prioritization of fossil fuels cut estimates to 9,000 MW of wind capacity that very same year.
Mexico currently has 7,312 MW installed as of 2022, said AMDEE; at its current 2.2 percent wind capacity growth rate, Mexico is on track to reach just a 7,622 MW capacity in the year 2024 – still nearly 1,400 MW shy of its already-slashed wind capacity estimates for the year.