WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2017 - Between 2016 and 2020, some 60 percent of Mexico’s electric capacity additions are projected to come from natural gas-fired power plants. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts this will lead to increases in U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico.
EIA reports that Mexico’s national energy ministry (SENER) projects an increase in natural gas demand by the power generation sector from 3.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015 to 5.4 Bcf/d in 2029.
Significant natural gas capacity additions are expected to continue through 2029, SENER says.
According to EIA, expected demand growth will be met primarily by increasing imports of natural gas from the U.S. and by large expansions of both cross-border U.S.-Mexico pipeline capacity and Mexico’s domestic natural gas pipeline networks.
The growth in natural gas-fired capacity is projected to accelerate sharply over the next four years. SENER projects that 14.7 GW of new gas-fired capacity will come online by 2020.
According to SENER, natural gas-fired capacity will account for 24.9 gigawatts (GW) of total capacity additions from 2016 to 2029.
The remainder of Mexico’s projected capacity additions are made up of renewables (20.4 GW) and nuclear (3.9 GW).
In 2015, EIA data show that natural gas, Mexico’s largest source of electricity generation, accounted for 54 percent of the country’s generation, up from 34 percent in 2005.
The new natural gas-fired capacity additions planned through 2029 will replace more than 15.9 GW of retiring capacity, EIA says, mostly from plants fueled by coal and fuel oil.
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