Is the boom of solar energy approaching?
Among renewable energies, photovoltaic solar could have some of the best prospects for its development.
Although it is not known if it can be met, Mexico has a goal in terms of renewable energy: by 2024, it expects that 35% of electricity produced in the country come from clean sources, the Energy Secretary said at the beginning of the year.
To reach this goal, the federal government has committed 160 million dollars (mdd) for the development of projects and innovation. Even you can also give an opportunity to solar energy in Tijuana with Thrive Solar by installing it in your home, it may be an investment at first but in the future it will be cheaper.
Among renewable energies, photovoltaic solar would perhaps have some of the best prospects for its growth. Currently the country has an installed capacity of 36.8 megawatts (MW) in solar projects, mainly for rural and industrial electrification, according to data from Proméxico.
According to the agency, Mexico is one of the five countries in the world with the greatest attraction to invest in solar energy, since its geographical location allows the development of these projects and is the largest producer of photovoltaic modules in Latin America.
So, why have not you bet more decisively on these projects? It can be attributed to several factors: to the belief that the cost of production remains high with respect to other technologies; the scarcity of financing for these projects and the lack of attention to renewable energies within the energy reform.
However, Mexico’s potential in this area, lower costs and greater financing capacity can make Mexico finally ‘see the light’, according to specialists.
It is no longer expensive as was thought
The production of solar energy is becoming competitive with respect to other energies, which makes it an attractive source for investment
Photovoltaic solar energy has a competitive price, both for small installations located on roofs and roofs, as well as for larger ones such as large-scale power plants. In addition, photovoltaic solar power plants are, compared to other renewable technologies, faster and easier to install. As a result, photovoltaic solar energy projects may present less complexity for their financing compared to other renewable technologies.
The first year of operations of Solartec was in 2010. And until 2014, the costs of the systems have been reduced from 70 to 80%. Most people, even the authority, were left with a very old-fashioned idea of solar energy, he says.
Ben Moody adds that, specifically, the cost of solar panels has been reduced by more than 60% in the last three years from an average price of around 1.81 dollars per watt in 2010 to 0.70 dollars per watt today.
The ‘birth’ of investments
The Secretary of Energy (Sener) indicated in a 2012 document that one of the main characteristics of successful cases for the promotion of photovoltaic systems is to include long-term financial incentives, elaboration of market studies, dissemination of the benefits of these systems, among others.
But apart from the investment that the public sector can make in Mexico, there are examples of projects driven by private initiative, explains Ben Moody, of Pan American Finance.
Countries like Chile, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Thailand are doing solar photovoltaic projects that offer long-term electricity at a competitive cost compared to current energy prices. Major large-scale solar photovoltaic projects are being developed ranging from 75MW to 150MW, both by global energy companies such as Enel and Total, as well as by independent solar energy producers.