Published on : Thursday, February 18, 2021
Mexico is making a plan for promoting state-backed solar power generation that could drive more than $1 billion in investment, benefit local communities and help the government meet environmental targets.
Rogelio Jimenez Pons, the director general of the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur), said that the scheme aims to develop Fonatur’s intended use of solar power for the so-called Mayan Train rail project linking up towns in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Government officials are still reviewing the plans, but if Fonatur gets the approval, it could start working on four solar farms this year, including one at the airport of the popular Caribbean tourist resort of Cancun.
A solar drive could lift the renewable energy credentials of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whose support for fossil fuels invited criticism and set him in disagreement with the new U.S. government, which is dedicated towards promoting green power sources.
This plan would run through the state power utility, the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), and draw the majority of its funding from state development banks, said Jimenez Pons. Profits would be returned to the local communities, he added.
“It’s win-win,” Pons said. “I believe this project could kick off a series of actions. Not just in Fonatur, but in other state agencies; the transport ministry could itself do it using this model … in all of Mexico’s airports.”
Across government, the scheme has potential to add thousands of megawatts (MW) of solar capacity, he said.
Jimenez Pons said that it would be “wonderful” – although unlikely – if Fonatur could achieve 1,000 MW before the administration ends in late 2024.