Mexico has vast untapped reserves in wind, solar, and geothermal and represents a natural power supplier for U.S. markets, especially those located along the country’s northern border. The renewables sector represents a growth industry in Mexico, where oil production has dropped off because of dwindling reserves and prohibitions exist on private investment in hydrocarbons. The Mexican government also appears to be charting a lower-carbon future for the country, setting ambitious renewable portfolio standards and reorienting the public policy focus toward alternative energy development – sometimes in partnership with the private sector, both foreign and domestic.
For U.S.-Mexico relations, advances in renewables demonstrate the success of bi-national cooperation – a bright spot that security challenges threaten to overshadow. For example, technical studies by USAID have enabled the charting of wind patterns in southern Oaxaca state, holding the potential to benefit both countries, by enhancing rural electrification in Mexico and providing a new energy source for the North American grid.
This new report from the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Environment, Development, and Growth: U.S.-Mexico Cooperation in Renewable Energies, provides a comprehensive overview of the Mexican sector, placing special emphasis on the business challenges facing enhanced investment along the U.S.-Mexico border.