In spite of being a major oil producer, the third-largest in the Americas after the US and Canada, Mexico has been showing efforts to endorse clean technology solutions and renewable energy alternatives. Between 2004 and 2009, Mexico’s total oil production declined by 22%; with a 1% per year oil production decline thereafter. Still, Mexico’s energy consumption relies on fossil resources with 53% and 36% of 2012 energy consumption supplied by oil and natural gas respectively.

Currently, 97% of the population has access to electricity of which 43% is affected by household energy poverty (defined as the need to address more than 10 % of the consumer’s income to paying electricity bills; the concept is linked to the insufficiency of the energy service to provide for the consumer’s basic energy needs). Hence, renewable energy resources and clean technology solutions are key for tackling deficient electricity service and climate change while supporting the economic development of a growing population.

The Mexican Energy Ministry has set a target for 2024 of supplying 35 % of the total national energy mix through clean energy (renewables, natural gas, large hydro, nuclear and combined cycles with carbon capture). Despite considering natural gas as a component for achieving this goal, such objective states the opportunity for increasing renewable energy utilization.


A large potential for renewable energy remains to be explored in Mexican territory. Possible power generation from renewable sources are 892, 1,365, 9,789, 542, and 579 GWh/year for geothermal, small hydro, wind, solar and biomass energy, respectively.

There is a strong case for promoting cleantech entrepreneurship in Mexico. According to the latest CO2 Abatement Cost Curve for Mexico published by INECC, cleantech-related levers have an abatement potential in 2020 of 108 MtCO2e, equivalent to one-third of the total abatement potential. The net financial and social benefit of these abatement measures is summed-up in their average negative abatement cost of -26 USD/tCO2e in 2020.

Mexico’s potential capacity on innovation and entrepreneurship is noteworthy. An extensive survey was conducted into the current state of the cleantech industry in Mexico, its potential and the specific opportunities it represents, receiving input from 200 cleantech entrepreneurs along with 30 direct interviews and an experts’ workshop with research centers, government officials as well as public and private financial institutions. Though figures for pure-play cleantech firms, cleantech patents, and specialized workforce are currently low, they continue to increase year by year. One concern that remains despite the aforementioned low but sustained growth is the lack of congruence between international commitments and domestic public policies to promote and accelerate green-economic growth. Even though progress has been made in terms of public funding for innovation, more has to be done in terms of cleantech innovation. Likewise, despite progress in climate and energy efficiency legislation, more needs to be done to reduce uncertainty for corporate and private investors, as well as to incentivize the early adoption of cleantech solutions.

For more information on Mexico’s clean technology status read, “Cleantech Mexico 2015: outlook and recommendations for unlocking Eco-innovation.” More information on Mexico’s renewable energy roadmap is available here and here.