Wind energy projects in Mexico
The interest in renewable energy has grown in recent decades because of environmental effects of fossil fuels and technological advances that have made some renewable energy technologies competitive with conventional gas fired power plants. Wind energy is playing a major role in increasing renewable energy’s share of electricity production worldwide. The global installed capacity of wind power has grown at a rate of more than 20% each year since the year 2000 (WWEA, 2009).
Currently, the Mexican electricity sector is comprised of fossil fuel fired power plants. However, Mexico has a large endowment of renewable energy resources that can be harnessed to generate electricity. For example, the Comisión Reguladora de Energía estimates that Oaxaca´s wind power potential is about 10,000 MW (CRE, 2006). Studies have shown that Baja California´s wind power potential is also about 10,000 MW (KEMA, 2008). This thesis focuses on wind energy because it is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the next decade in Mexico relative to other renewable energy sources (Sener, 2008). Mexico’s installed wind power capacity is 202.5 MW. This capacity will increase by 456 MW by the end of 2010. Another 2,123 MW will be added during the period 2010-2012 (AMDEE, 2006). This research investigates various aspects of the wind farm development process in Mexico. The initial chapters describe the electricity sector and its participants. Subsequent chapters describe the regulatory framework and the mechanisms used by private investors to finance renewable energy projects. The final chapters describe the economic aspects of wind energy projects using a conventional discounted cash flow model. Statistical simulation is used to estimate capacity factors, and design of experiments is used to statistically analyze performance under different scenarios.