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Mexico’s Claudia Sheinbaum Plans to Spend Billions on Gas, Solar Plants

Top Mexican presidential candidate pledges $13.6 billion for energy
Top Mexican presidential candidate pledges $13.6 billion for energy (The Energy Year)

Maya Averbuch and Scott Squires, Bloomberg News

MEXICO CITY
EnergiesNet.com 04 17 2024

Mexico’s leading presidential candidate would spend around $13.6 billion to boost her country’s use of renewable energy while still adding gas-burning power plants, according to a plan she presented to business leaders. 

The plan from frontrunner Claudia Sheinbaum would increase wind and solar power generation, modernize hydroelectric stations and add about 3,850 kilometers (2392 miles) of transmission lines. It would represent a significant shift from the policies of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who prioritized backing state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos rather than renewable power.

Sheinbaum, who is leading opposition candidate Xochitl Galvez by a wide margin in polls ahead of the June 2 election, has vowed to continue supporting Pemex while also pushing the nation toward clean energy. Her plan outlined Monday at an event in Mexico City would add about 13.7 gigawatts of electricity to the existing grid by 2030, she said. In the US, a gigawatt can power about 750,000 homes. 

“We are going to accelerate the energy transition,” Sheinbaum said Monday. “Going forward, we are working on this energy plan not just with an eye on 2030, but also through 2050 to align with international commitments on climate change.”

Her proposal would be in addition to gas and solar plants that are already planned or under construction, expected to add about 3.3 gigawatts of capacity to the grid this year.

If she wins the election, Sheinbaum will inherit the largest budget deficit in Mexico since the 1980s, which may complicate plans to speed up Mexico’s clean-energy transition.

“We have the possibility and potential to develop Mexico in a way that generates investment with well-being,” Sheinbaum said at the event. “At the same time, that development does not have to negatively impact the environment.”

bloomberg.com 04 16 2024

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