Race between Demand and Energy Reforms

In the last 30 years, Mexico’s energy consumption has grown steadily, at a rate of about 2 per cent annually. Fossil fuels represent > 92 per cent of the total national energy consumption. Between 2000 and 2010, electricity generation increased by 33 per cent, the population increased by ~66 per cent, and the total energy consumption more than doubled whereas electricity consumption almost tripled. Per capita electricity consumption reached 2 MWh per capita, from 0.9 MWh per capita, as described in detail in Table 21.1. Thirty years ago production almost doubled consumption, a circumstance contributing to a narrative on Mexico’s energy abundance position. But by 2013 this position has entirely faded away.

Although the growth in demand comes as no surprise, the pace of Mexico’s energy imports merits consideration. Through 2011-13, Mexico faced problems with the reliability of and access to natural gas because of the Mexican oil company Petroleos Mexicanos’ (PEMEX) limited ability to increase gas production and expand the natural gas pipeline network (Auditoria Superior de la Federacion 2014). At the same time, the fuel mix for power generation shifted away from heavy fuel oil. The share of natural gas in the total electricity output increased from 12 per cent in 1990 to over 50 per cent in 2010.

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