National Energy Grid
Full Size Map National Electricity Transmission Grid of Mexico(39 kb)
Mexico has installed electric power generating capacity of 38.9 million kilowatts and in 2000 generated 194 billion kilowatthours (bkwh). Oil-fired power plants make up the largest share of Mexico's electricity generation, and thermal (oil, gas, and coal) electricity generation in 2000 accounted for 76% of total generation. Hydropower accounted for 17%, nuclear power 4%, and other renewable sources (wind, solar, biomass) 3%. Mexico's industrial energy policy calls for the conversion of many oil-fired power plants to natural gas by 2005. Most new power plants will be run on natural gas.
The concept of integrating the energy markets of Mexico, the United States, and Canada is gaining popularity. Numerous pipelines and transmission lines already connect the United States and Canada, though few span the U.S.-Mexico border. Companies are building power plants in northern Mexico to generate electricity to satisfy rapid demand growth from industrial and residential users. Given Mexico's less burdensome environmental regulations relative to those of California, it is possible that more power plants will be planned for northern Mexico to help satisfy the energy needs of both northern Mexico and southern California. While greater integration of the United States and Mexico is progressing, Mexico should not be seen as a solution to future supply shortfalls of electricity in U.S. markets, such as what happened in California in 2001, certainly not for the short- to mid-term.
Mexico is a net energy exporter; the difference between its energy production and consumption is mainly crude oil exports. Energy consumption by 2010 is estimated to increase to approximately 9.0 Quads, at an average rate of increase of 2.8% per year.