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A Transition Strategy from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy Sources in the Mexican Electricity System

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2018, pp 47-66
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d5.0170
Juan J. Vidal-Amaro , Claudia Sheinbaum-Pardo
Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Edificio 12, Circuito Interior S/N, UNAM-CU, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, México


Renewable energy sources exploitation acquires special importance for creating low-carbon energy systems. In Mexico a national regulation limits the fossil fuel-based electricity generation to 65%, 60% and 50% by years 2024, 2030 and 2050 respectively. This study evaluates several scenarios of renewables incorporation into the Mexican electricity system to attend those targets as well as a 75% renewables-based electricity share target towards a 100% renewable system. By its size, the Mexican electricity system, with a generation of 260.4 TWh/year (85% based on fossil fuels), can be regarded as an illustrating reference. The impact of increasing amounts of wind, photovoltaic solar, biomass, biogas, geothermal, hydro and concentrating solar power on the system’s capacity to attend demand on a one-hour timescale resolution is investigated utilizing the EnergyPLAN model and the minimum total mix capacity method. Possible excess of electricity production is also assessed. For every target year, a solution is obtained corresponding to the combination resulting in the minimum total generation capacity for the electricity system. A transition strategy to a system with a high share of renewables-based electricity is designed where every transition step corresponds to the optimal energy mix for each of the target years.

Keywords: Energy systems analyses, Sustainable energy supply, Energy transition, Renewable energies, Energy scenarios design, EnergyPLAN, Minimum total capacity mix model, Mexico.

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