2016: good prospects for geothermals in Mexico

Global capacity for directly-used geothermal energy stands at more than 70,000 MWt. Over 70% of this capacity corresponds to the so-called geothermal heat pumps, with a total of 50,000 MWt, followed by spring resorts and spas (9,140 MWt) and domestic heating and DHW networks (7,556 MWt). More than 80 countries use geothermal energy directly in a range of applications (heating, spas, dehydration of vegetables, greenhouses, drying wood, heat pumps, etc.). The top five countries with the largest installed capacity for directly-used geothermals worldwide are: China, with 17,870 MWt; the US with 17,416 MWt; Sweden, with 5,600 MWt; Turkey, with 2,886 MWt; and Germany with 2,849 MWt (2014 figures).

However, only 23 countries use geothermal resources to generate electrical power. These countries have a total installed capacity of more than 13,000 MW, with Mexico ranked fourth with a total installed capacity of 1,081 MW. Although the capacity in effective operation is only 883 MW, as at December 2015, representing just under 2% of the country’s total electrical output, it is able to cover the electricity demand of some two million Mexican households.

In Mexico, the commercial generation of electricity from geothermal energy has been taking place since 1973. To date, this industry has been controlled by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), via its Department for Geothermoelectric Project Management (GPG) that currently operates the four existing operational geothermal fields in Mexico. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016