Thermal power will continue to dominate annual power generation in Mexico until 2030
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Thermal power will continue to dominate annual power generation in Mexico until 2030

By GlobalData Energy 21 Oct 2021 (Last Updated October 21st, 2021 12:56)

Thermal power was the major source of power generation in Mexico in 2020 and a similar trend is expected to be observed by 2030.

Thermal power will continue to dominate annual power generation in Mexico until 2030
The new government, which came into power in 2018, has promoted the use of thermal power generation. Credit: Andrea Izzotti / Shutterstock.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Mexico Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2021 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape’, discusses the power market structure of Mexico and provides historical and forecast numbers for capacity, generation and consumption up to 2030. Detailed analysis of the country’s power market regulatory structure, competitive landscape and a list of major power plants are provided. The report also gives a snapshot of the power sector in the country on broad parameters of macroeconomics, supply security, generation infrastructure, transmission and distribution infrastructure, electricity import and export scenario, degree of competition, regulatory scenario, and future potential. An analysis of the deals in the country’s power sector is also included in the report.

Mexico was among the first countries in the world to announce the phase-out of coal-fired plants by 2030. However, the country has retracted from these plans and currently does not have any coal power phase-out policy. The coal power capacity in Mexico is expected to marginally decrease from 6.02GW in 2020 to 5.67GW in 2030. Thermal power was the major source of power generation in Mexico in 2020 and a similar trend is expected to be observed by 2030. Thermal power capacity is expected to rise from 55.3GW in 2020 to 67.2GW in 2030, growing at a CAGR of 2% and thermal power generation is expected to increase from 251.7TWh in 2020 to 274TWh in 2030, growing at a CAGR of 0.9%.

In 2020, thermal power generation held a share of 76.9% in Mexico’s total generation. Although this share is expected to decline to 63.3% in 2030, thermal power will continue to dominate Mexico’s generation mix. In 2017, the country became a member of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a group of numerous countries, cities, regions and organisations that aim to accelerate the phase-out of coal power. Mexico committed to phasing out coal power generation by 2030, however, the new government that came into power in 2018 has promoted the use of thermal power generation. This has led to slow growth of the renewable sector in Mexico.

In March 2021, the Mexican Government passed an energy bill that favours government-owned generating plants that majorly run on fossil fuels. Under this new bill, electricity will be bought first from state-owned hydroelectric plants and those that run on coal and oil.

Steps taken by the Mexican Government, such as not raising their targets for reducing CO₂ emissions under the Paris Agreement, passing an energy bill that favours electricity generation from fossil fuels and the purchase of two million tons of coal for power generation, shows that power generation from fossil fuels in there to stay in the country for a long period of time. The government’s lack of support for renewable technologies is expected to reduce the interest and investment of foreign companies in the country’s renewable sector.

Mexico’s economy was significantly affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. To curb the spread of Covid-19, the Mexican Government imposed strict national lockdowns in the country. The imposition of these lockdowns caused a sharp dip in the country’s GDP. Mexico’s real GDP (USD, 2010 prices) witnessed a massive decline of 8.2% in 2020, as compared to 2019.

With respect to the power sector, the electricity consumption in the country declined by 4.4% in 2020, as compared to 2019. Electricity demand from industrial and commercial sectors declined significantly due to national lockdowns. Several oil utilities operating in Mexico observed a steep decline in revenues due to a slump in oil demand and a steep fall in fuel consumption. For instance, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), a major electric utility in Mexico, reported a massive loss of $23bn in 2020. The Mexican Government categorised power sector projects as essential, and hence related activities were permitted to continue. However, projects faced delays due to a lack of manpower and bottlenecks in equipment supply due to the pandemic. For instance, the construction of a solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Sonora state was suspended for several weeks due to supply chain constraints arising due to the pandemic. Also, several utilities submitted force majeure claims to CRE due to delays in starting the commercial operation of power projects on the guaranteed date. In 2021, the electricity consumption in the country is expected to recover and grow by 5.9%, as compared to 2020.

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