Biomass for energy in Mexico - A technical, economic and environmental analysis

(Teil-)Projektleitung/Mitarbeit: MSc Mario Rios

Auftraggeber/Fördergeber: CONACYT - DAAD
Projektpartner: -
Projektumfang: 36 Months
Laufzeit: 04/2011 - 03/2014


Biomass is globally by far the most widely used renewable source of energy. But despite the overriding importance of biomass for energy provision, its role continues to be largely unrecognized in the existing overall Mexican energy system. Also another key constraint to the expansion of biomass production is the limited amount of land available to meet the needs for food, feed, and fuel in the coming decades on the background of the expected population growth. And additionally, large-scale biomass production raises concerns about food versus fuel trade-offs, demands for natural resources such as water, and its potential impacts on the quality of the natural environment.

Against this background, the objective of this study is to develop and apply a model approach, which helps to summarize and harmonize the technical and economic biomass potential for energy production in Mexico by the present and the next decades based on the official data and trends reported by the Federal Ministries and considering important sustainable assessment criteria discussed currently.
This goal includes the development of a model to assess the sustainable biomass potential in Mexico with a high spatial resolution on the background of considerable lacks of primary data (assessing the available resources for a satisfactory formulation). Additionally a model will be developed to analyze the contribution of biomass within the overall energy system considering production and transportation costs, energy balance, regulatory frames and allowing quantifying the resulting consequences (e.g. greenhouse gas reductions).

Finally the results retrieved based on these investigations will be interconnected to allow for the calculation of several scenarios and how to maximize the sustainable biomass penetration in the future development of the energy system in Mexico. Statements will be made how a biomass strategy of the Mexican government could be designed to maximize the benefit of bioenergy under minimizing the possible negative impacts.