Electricity Demand In Mexico Reaches Record High Amid Heat And Drought

by | May 29, 2024 | Daily News, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » Electricity Demand In Mexico Reaches Record High Amid Heat And Drought

Electricity demand in Mexico has reached unprecedented levels due to high consumption. Official data show that the demand for electricity occasionally exceeds what the country’s utility infrastructure can generate and transmit.

This surge in electricity usage is driven by scorching heat and severe water shortages. All this further increases the risk of power outages.

Electricity demand in Mexico

On May 27 afternoon, Mexico’s electricity consumption hit a record 51,595 megawatts, according to grid operator CENACE. This level of demand, if sustained, can lead to outages as the country’s aging infrastructure struggles to cope.

This year has already seen widespread power outages, and with even hotter days expected, the situation could worsen. Water and electricity issues have become central topics in the upcoming national election. The next president will face the challenge of finding sustainable solutions to meet the rising electricity demand.

The state-owned utility CFE produces 99.47% of Mexico’s electricity. It, and CENACE, the state-owned grid operator, are both hindered by outdated infrastructure and insufficient investment in renewable energy.

Independent energy consultant Paul Alejandro Sanchez highlighted the issue. He stated, “There have been too many years now where demand was growing but there was an underinvestment in electricity generation and transmission. The challenge isn’t the average demand. It’s when demand spikes to such extremes.”

The heatwave has increased electricity consumption among households and industries. Mexico’s continued growth adds further strain on the supply. Increasing the electricity supply in the short term is challenging, particularly because hydroelectric plants are suffering from extreme water shortages.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s energy policies have focused on the CFE. It largely relies on burning fuel oil from Pemex refineries to generate electricity. Experts criticize these policies for making electricity generation dirtier, more expensive, and less sustainable.

Under Lopez Obrador, the growth of privately owned renewable energy projects has been curtailed. Despite these challenges, international organizations recognize Mexico’s potential as a clean energy leader.

The country has high solar radiation, significant wind capacity, and geothermal resources. However, last year, Mexico still relied on fossil fuels for 77% of its electricity generation. In this, solar power contributed only 6%.

As Mexico approaches the national election, the future of its energy sector is a critical issue. President Lopez Obrador is barred from seeking a second term. However, the candidates vying for the presidency have pledged to harness Mexico’s renewable energy potential.

Claudia Sheinbaum from Lopez Obrador’s ruling Morena party and her main opponent, Xochitl Galvez, both advocate for a shift towards renewable energy. They aim to improve sustainability by tapping into the country’s solar, wind, and hydroelectric resources.

The National Autonomous University of Mexico forecasts that new heat records in several states will increase energy demand. It’ll worsen air quality and elevate the risk of forest fires as well. Addressing these issues will be crucial for the next administration. That’s because it must balance immediate energy needs with long-term sustainability goals.

As the electricity demand in Mexico is breaking all records, the situation is getting out of hand. The next president will need to make significant investments in modernizing the electricity grid. He or she needs to expand renewable energy sources to ensure Mexico can meet future demand. This way, they can mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Also Read: USA To Face Extreme Heatwave In The Coming Weeks


  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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