New geothermal capacity in Mexico could rise 300 MW over 10 years if the impact of nearly $109 million in new loans is fully realized, a financing group focused on Latin America and Caribbean energy development reported this week.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has modified a $108.6 million load to encourage and increase public investment in electricity projects generated from geothermal sources in Mexico. The goal is emissions reduction, as Mexico produces more greenhouse gases than any other nation in the region, according to the report.
“Geothermal power is baseload energy, with a capacity factor of 95 percent-plus, allowing to have electricity available 24-7 at a competitive price, much like natural gas,” Christiaan Gischler, project leader and IDB’s geothermal team leader, said in a statement. “Like solar and wind energy, it is renewable, but without their characteristic intermittency. It is fully climate-change resilient and has an enormous energy density, which paves the way for getting large amounts of energy in a relatively small area.”
Low-temperature applications are crucial for the fruit drying industry and steam is critical for small and mid-sized enterprises there, he added.
Mexico has announced goals of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2030. The nation gets 80 percent of its energy from fossil-fuel sources, according to the IDB.
Despite its fossil-fuel heavy history, Mexico already was the world’s third leading nation in geothermal production with an installed capacity of more than 1,000 MW as of 2016, according to previous reports. Mexico also is endowed with up to 25 GW of untapped resource potential, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory report last year.
The IDB is focused on improving economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean.