Mexico set for 20-fold solar expansion by 2019

After a year that included two fiercely competitive renewables tenders, Mexico’s energy secretariat says the country is on track to have 5.4GW of operating solar capacity by the end of 2019, more than 20 times its current capacity. By comparison, Mexico’s more well-established wind sector is expected to have about 3.9GW of installed capacity spinning by that same point in time. Mexico held two auctions for new clean-energy generation capacity in 2016, successfully managing to lure many of the world’s leading renewables developers. A unit of Italy’s Enel was the biggest winner in the first tender, which also saw solar developers like US-based SunPower and China’s JinkoSolar bidding aggressively to gain a toehold in the Mexican market. Solar and wind are expected to dominate Mexico’s market for new power plants in the decades ahead, with the International Energy Agency predicting renewables will account for more than half of new capacity built to 2040, and other analysts predicting even higher shares.