Demand for electric power increases in the Yucatan Peninsula

Photo: (La joranda maya)

The preview of the future 2022 is that the electric service will need 2,400 mega watts

Merida, Yucatan, (October 01, 2021).- Benigno Villarreal, general director of Vive Energía, in the conference “Electrical Challenges of the Peninsula” of the Expo Energía Yucatán 2021 Forum, made it clear that the main problem that Southeast Mexico is facing, is the increase in demand, together with the high cost of electricity service. The peninsula is the one that has increased consumption the most. 

The Yucatan peninsula has an installed capacity of almost 2,400 megawatts, he reported, but until 2019, 43 percent of that total capacity was not available due to lack of maintenance or mechanical failure due to high temperatures; In addition, some areas were undergoing maintenance and there is also a lack of natural gas.

As a result, the peninsula generates around 1,300 megawatts, and the amount it needs is surplus, taking over the national generation system, which also pointed out problems.

For energy intake, there are only four national lines to the peninsula, he pointed out, and the difference between demand and local generation causes those lines to suffer congestion, contributing to the increase in service prices.

Only 8.6 percent of the installed capacity comes from renewable energies in the area, it contrasted that at the national level the average of this type of energy is 31, also contributing this situation to the fact that electricity costs are the highest in the country, 40 percent above the national average.

The growth of consumption is likewise the highest in the country, he estimated that in 2019 consumption increased 8.2 percent, when the national average was 3 percent; however, installed capacity grew only 3.2 percent.

Given the panorama, he said that the state of Yucatán was the victim of successful development policies that caused an increase in demand and created pressure to provide the service.

He explained that the plants need fuel to increase their capacity, again causing a higher generation cost. 

The preview of the future 2022, he pointed out, is that in the peninsula the electric service will need 2,400 megawatts which, coincidentally, is the amount that the installed capacity supposedly has, but it is still not the real total of production.

Even with this, he left in the air the assumption that in 2022 the peninsula will be able to satisfy the needs of the service, but he questioned what will happen in 2023 because he calculates that the demand will continue to increase by 8.2 percent, “where are they going to get those almost 200 megawatts extra? ”.

The situation, he said, “worries and occupies” because “we have a great shortage”, especially considering that demand is growing and is expensive in the area; Given that, he concluded that “what we have to do is bring more natural gas to the peninsula to lower prices.”

The options it provided were three main: installing a new pipeline to generate energy, adding the transmission capacity of the national electricity system (which is currently 1,500 and would need at least double), or generating renewable energy to meet the challenge.

His comments were inclined towards the generation of renewable energy for the peninsula, detailing that today in two-thirds of the planet renewable energy is already cheaper. “The cheapening of this type of energy has exceeded all expectations”, reaching $ 13 per megawatt, in contrast to the estimated 1,000 pesos for energy with fuel oil.

In 2050, he detailed, 80 percent will be from renewable energy because it will already be cheaper and more competitive globally. “The future is electric and renewable energy”

Source: La Jornada Maya

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