Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Potential of Variable Renewable Energy Sources in Mexico: A Temporally-Evaluated and Geospatially-Constrained Techno-Economical Assessment

Version 1 : Received: 8 July 2021 / Approved: 9 July 2021 / Online: 9 July 2021 (13:23:51 CEST)

How to cite: Pena Sanchez, E.U.; Ryberg, S.D.; Heinrichs, H.U.; Stolten, D.; Robinius, M. The Potential of Variable Renewable Energy Sources in Mexico: A Temporally-Evaluated and Geospatially-Constrained Techno-Economical Assessment. Preprints 2021, 2021070223 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0223.v1). Pena Sanchez, E.U.; Ryberg, S.D.; Heinrichs, H.U.; Stolten, D.; Robinius, M. The Potential of Variable Renewable Energy Sources in Mexico: A Temporally-Evaluated and Geospatially-Constrained Techno-Economical Assessment. Preprints 2021, 2021070223 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0223.v1).

Abstract

Due to the increasing global importance of decarbonizing human activities, especially the production of electricity, the optimal deployment of renewable energy technologies will play a crucial role in future energy systems. To accomplish this, particular attention must be accorded to the geospatial and temporal distribution of variable renewable energy sources (VRES) such as wind and solar radiation in order to match electricity supply and demand. This study presents a techno-economical assessment of four energy technologies in the hypothetical context of Mexico in 2050, namely: onshore and offshore wind turbines, and open-field and rooftop photovoltaics. A land eligibility analysis incorporating physical, environmental, and socio-political eligibility constraints and individual turbine and photovoltaic park simulations, drawing on 39 years of climate data, is performed for individual sites across the country in an effort to determine the installable potential and the associated levelized costs of electricity. The results reveal that up to 54 PWh of renewable electricity can be produced as a cost of less than 70 EUR/MWh. Around 91% (49 PWh) of this would originate from 23 TW of open-field photovoltaic parks that could occupy up to 578,000 km2 of eligible land across the country. The remaining 9% (4.8 PWh) could be produced by 1.9 TW of onshore wind installations allocated to approximately 68,500 km2 of eligible land that is almost fully adjacent to three mountainous zones. The combination of rooftop photovoltaic and offshore wind turbines account for a very small share of less than 0.03% of the overall techno-economical potential.

Subject Areas

Renewable energy; land eligibility analysis; onshore wind; open-field photovoltaics; Mexico; renewable potential; technical potential

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