Wind capacity additions down 93pc under AMLO

  • : Electricity
  • 24/04/18

Mexico installed just 96MW of wind power capacity in 2023, a new low amid President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's policy to limit private sector development.

Last year's wind power capacity additions were down by 93pc from the 1,281MW installed during Lopez Obrador's first full year in office in 2019, according to the Global Wind Report 2024 published by the Global Wind Energy Council. New wind power additions were also down by 39pc from the 158MW installed in 2022.

Lopez Obrador's statist energy policy has sought to claw back state-owned utility CFE's market position in the face of an enormous private sector clean energy build out launched during the previous administration. Between 2016 and 2018 CFE held three long-term power auctions, contracting 7,000MW of new renewable energy projects as the government made a push to decarbonize Mexico's power matrix.

But Lopez Obrador ruled out further auctions and has actively curtailed the award of new generation permits, stalling the development of 5,800MW of wind projects, according to wind energy association Amdee.

Mexico has 7,413MW of installed wind capacity, accounting for 8.2pc of the country's 89,890MW total installed generation capacity, according to the energy ministry.

Despite the slowed pace in Mexico, new wind installation continued to grow in Latin America last year, led by Brazil with 4.8GW to bring total onshore capacity in the country to 30.4GW in 2023. GWEC expects 28.7GW of new wind capacity in Latin America over the next five years, on top of the 50.6GW of current capacity.

Globally 117GW of new wind energy capacity was installed last year, up by 50pc on the previous year and a new record. GWEC expects global wind capacity to double to 2TW by 2030, as governments agreed to triple global renewable energy capacity at the climate talks in Dubai last year.

The outlook for Mexican wind power also looks more positive with both presidential candidates in the 2 June election committed to accelerating the energy transition through the build out of new clean energy capacity.

Governing party candidate and current frontrunner Claudia Sheinbaum pledged to make renewable energy a "hallmark" of her administration and committed this week to investing $13.6bn in clean energy projects if elected.

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