There are many types of energies and, among all of them, alternative energies, or renewable energies, are the ones that are being developed the most in Mexico. Not in vain, it is a country that has a geography and natural conditions without equal when it comes to alternative energy generation. This, together with a great diversification of the types of energy and the ways in which it is used, places the American country at the forefront of the renewable energy sector worldwide.
Definition of energy sources
One of the first aspects that we have to be clear when talking about energy sources is to define what they are. Energy sources are understood to be those phenomena (physical or chemical) that allow them to be used to generate work. That is, those phenomena that can be transformed to achieve a specific activity that requires strength or ability to perform a specific action.
In this way, we can speak of wind energy by using the wind phenomenon to create electricity (physical phenomenon), or wood energy by burning wood to obtain the movement of a steam engine (chemical phenomenon), or solar energy. getting energy from the sun , and so on.
Types of energy sources
The energy sources can be classified in different ways. Some of the most common are the following:
Primary and secondary energy sources
This classification refers to whether it is a source of energy that is obtained directly from nature or whether it is made from a form of energy already transformed by humans. An example of primary energy types would be the wind, while an example of secondary energy types would be the electricity that is produced from said wind.
What are the renewable and non-renewable energy sources
This other qualification refers to whether they are forms of energy that can be depleted by their use or if their constant renewal makes them virtually inexhaustible sources of energy. Some examples of non-renewable energy would be oil or natural gas, while some examples of renewable energy would be solar energy or hydropower.
Clean and unclean energy sources
This other qualification of the forms of energy refers to whether they produce waste that is harmful to the environment or not. Most of the clean or green energies correspond to renewable energies. However, these are different categories, so it is important to clarify these differences. Some examples of clean energy could be hydropower or wind power. While some examples of non-clean energies would be from oil to biofuel, since, although the latter is a renewable energy, it produces greenhouse gases, so it could not be fully classified as clean energy (although compared to others unclean energies are the ones that have the least impact on the planet).
Mexico stands out for having a large amount of renewable energy within the total amount of energy it consumes. This is due to several factors, among which it is worth highlighting the fact that it has a privileged geography, orography, and latitude in terms of alternative energy production . In this sense, the use of hydraulic energy, wind energy, geothermal energy and energy derived from biomass and solar energy stand out.
One of the clear examples of alternative energy sources in Mexico is water, with which we obtain hydraulic energy . It is considered that approximately 21% of the energy consumed in Mexico has in one way or another an origin in hydroelectric energy. Mexico has several hydroelectric power generating dams, including the Manuel Moreno Torres HPP, or the El Cajon dam, among many others.
It is estimated that Mexico has a wind power capacity of more than 1,400 MW. It has several wind farms that distribute their electricity throughout the country, and among which it is worth mentioning the La Ventosa Wind Farm, made up of 104 wind turbines.
Thanks to its high tectonic activity, Mexico is one of the countries that can obtain the most energy from geological activity in the interior of the planet. The country has four large facilities from which it obtains the main amount of geothermal energy. These facilities are Cerro Prieto, which is the one with the highest installed power in Mexico and the second in the world, Los Azufres, Los Humeros and Las Tres Virgenes.
Mexico’s solar energy potential has the honor of being ranked among one of the highest in the world in proportion to its population. Photovoltaic energy obtained from solar panels has developed at a very rapid rate in the last two decades. A good example can be found in the Aura Solar project, which has a capacity to produce 82 GWh per year.
Finally, Mexico also has a high potential in terms of obtaining electrical energy from biomass . Its high rate of urban waste production, as well as agricultural waste, contributes to this. It is calculated that, only from biomass, Mexico has the capacity to produce about 4,507 MWh annually.