Top Ten Highlights of Cleantech in Mexico
Over the last few years, there has been a large decrease in the crude oil production in Mexico. To counter the effects of it, the Mexican government has started to look for new venues for energy that would create less of a dependence on fossil fuels.
1) Renewable Energy Potential. The United States Department of Energy states that Mexico "places great importance of the development of renewable energy" and that further expansion is likely. With Los Angeles and Belize already purchasing geothermal power from Mexico, and a deal with Guatemala in the works, Mexico is realizing its potential as a renewable energy power player. By 2005, the government approved 50 renewable energy projects, completed by 2007 and supplied 1,400 MW of energy. Aside from exporting renewable sources, renewable energy manufacturing is also big. There is a photovoltaic module manufacturing plant, a Sanyo solar manufacturing plant, two wind turbine blade manufacturing plants, as well as a German thin-film solar cells manufacturing plant.
2) Mexico Renewable Energy Program. The Mexico Renewable Energy Program aims at promoting sustainable and appropriate use of renewable energy technologies throughout Mexico. By doing so, it would "increase the quality and to reduce the costs of renewable energy technologies...; increase the use of clean energy sources to combat global climate change (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) and to protect our natural environment by limiting pollution; and increase the economic, social, and health standards in rural off-grid households and communities by utilizing renewable energy systems for productive applications." The focus of the program is to use renewable energy technologies, mainly photovoltaics and small wind, to produce necessary cost-effective electricity.
3) Benefits of United States — Mexico Partnerships. In the beginning of 1993, the United States Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories assisted in the installation of photovoltaic systems in rural locations throughout Mexico. More than 250 photovoltaic systems and wind energy and water pumping systems have since been installed, as well as an additional 150 other renewable energy projects throughout Mexico. According the Michal Ross, Sandia program manager, "These programs seek to improve the economies of some of the poorest areas of rural Mexico by increasing the profitability of small ranches while also promoting the use of renewable energy technology, reducing pollution from fuel-powered generations, and broadening the renewable energy market outside the U...It benefits everyone involved."
4) Renewable Energy for Agriculture Project. The Renewable Energy for Agriculture Project provides electricity in rural areas for purposes of production, through the use of renewable energy technologies. It supports productive investments as well as improved farming practices. Managed by FIRCO, under the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, the program is expected to provide more than 1,200 photovoltaic systems and 55 wind systems of isolated, rural areas. Though primarily used for pumping water, it can be adapted for other uses that would elevate social, economic, and health standards of many Mexican agricultural areas. Also supplied is technical assistance, promotional campaigns, and a project management.
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