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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Will Yucatán’s new power stations make CFE outages a thing of the past?

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Aside from the new power stations in Mérida and Valladolid, older CFE facilities in Yucatán are also being revamped. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Construction of new CFE power plants is underway in both Mérida and Valladolid.

The new facilities are designed to help Yucatán deal with increasing energy demands and the numerous power failures that go with them. 

Existing power plants, including the facility on the highway to Umán, are also being retrofitted to generate more power by installing next-generation turbines. 

“We are looking to go online with our first tests in November 2024. When fully up and running, these improvements will add considerably to Yucatán’s energy production capacity network,” said Subsecretary of Energy Juan Carlos Vega Milké. 

However, the problems with Yucatán’s energy grid are not limited to production, as aging infrastructure and what can only be described as a mess of ancient wiring continues to cause outages. 

Haphazardly installed power, telephone, and fiber optic lines are a feature of most streets in Yucatán. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

In older neighborhoods, including García Ginerés, power outages constantly affect residents and businesses. 

Earlier: Renewable energy is under siege in Mexico, say experts

Several newer residential developments and suburbs tend to have fewer power outages as much of their electrical infrastructure is now underground.

But aside from blackouts, there is growing concern about how energy is produced in the state. 

Like in the rest of the country, roughly 80% of Yucatán’s electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. 

While this is understandable given how long ago the electrical grid was first implemented, critics of Mexico’s energy policy say that the country really should be focusing more on renewable sources. 

Mexico’s carbon dioxide emissions were estimated at roughly 400 million metric tons in 2021, ranking as the world’s 15th largest polluter of greenhouse gases.

Emissions aside, according to the CFE itself, the electricity generated by private firms in Mexico is up to 26% cheaper than their own.

This has led several private firms to buy energy from alternative suppliers. However, recent modifications to Mexico’s energy sector rulebook now heavily favor state-owned power companies, making it harder for private firms to sell energy to industry and consumers.

Despite the government’s stifling of the private energy sector in Mexico, most energy industry analysts believe that the trend toward privately generated green energy is here to stay. 

“There is no turning back the clock. We are close to reaching our goal of running on 80% green energy and plan to reach 95% by the end of 2023,” said Grupo Bimbo President Daniel Servitje.

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy, and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.
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