January 22nd, 2013 — If one looks at the three country members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it is Mexico that has benefited the most from the regional policy that was adopted 20 years ago. It was then that a nearly impoverished nation that was reliant upon mainly agriculture and tourism had visions of becoming a leader in manufacturing.
Most countries who lead the world’s manufacturing operations seek to do so with the cleanest, most renewable energy sources available to them. Pursuing a renewable energy strategy is good for the environment and a region’s economy since goods are manufactured from clean, low-cost energy sources. Since manufacturing in Mexico is relatively young, the government partnering with manufacturing companies has the opportunity to incorporate standard renewable energy policies and practices into their national manufacturing operations, and experts from other NAFTA member nations are showing them the way. Because of its long time use of hydroelectric power, Mexican energy companies cannot be considered complete novices when it comes to alternative energy use, but they realize that truly renewable energy sources are found elsewhere. Here is a look at some of their plans to grow their national alternative energy market for use in manufacturing in Mexico.
Wind Energy: A Surprising Asset in Oaxaco
According to news sources, Mexico’s Federal Electrical Commission (CFE) and other industry community leaders identified wind energy as a viable renewable energy source since NAFTA’s birth in 1994. Those at the Renewable Energy World North America Conference and Expo hint that wind energy will account for over 1500 megawatts (MW) of the CFE run electric grid by 2014. Oaxaca, Mexico was identified as a leader for wind energy, and it has become the country’s main collection point for its wind energy operations. Mexico has big plans for its wind powered, renewable energy program. For example, Oaxaca is home to a wind energy farm that when operating at its peak can give power to a city of 500,000 people.
Solar Energy: An Obvious Choice For Clean Energy in Mexico
Although wind energy is the chosen front-runner of the post-NAFTA, Mexican renewable energy market, solar energy is not without its place in Mexico. Mexico is famous for sunny skies that make its gorgeous coastlines a popular spot for travelers, but recently all that abundant Mexican sunshine is being used for something besides attracting tourists. The three main groups that are set to benefit from the growing solar renewable energy market are CFE residential customers, industrial manufacturing customers, and investors in Mexico’s solar energy market. While residential and industrial customers do not yet receive tax incentives to use solar energy, they realize significant energy cost savings and are able to net meter. Foreign investors also recognize a chance to profit from the growing Mexican solar energy market and have built one of the largest solar energy plants in Latin America there.
Mexico has quietly become a net exporter of electricity to its northern neighbor and has plans to continue expanding their renewable energy market according to the published fact sheet for renewable energy for U.S. Embassy Mexico City. For example, the national energy goal is to have 35% of the nation’s electricity produced from renewable sources. Goals like this one are bolstered by climate change legislation adopted in 2012. The land that is already rich in agricultural resources and vibrant beauty has learned to tap into other natural resources pertaining to clean energy. With the right energy management programs in place, Mexico is set to become a prosperous player in the global renewable energy market.