National Hydroelectric Plan (1982–2000)
The importance of water resources in the context of Mexico’s power system is obvious on analyzing the latest available statistics. Hydroelectric power stations generated 24.4 TWH (terawatt-hours, 1012 watts) in 1981, 36 percent of the overall power (almost 68 TWH) consumed that year. The history of power generation development in Mexico and of the growing importance of hydroelectricity to its present level affords a clearer understanding of the long-range planning to the year 2000 in this field.
Figure 1 shows the yearly average hydroelectric generation related to total electricity generation in Mexico and to installed capacity. Generation variations in time are due to variations in water availability, which are unpredictable. However, the hydroelectric generation and installed potential may vary, its participation in total electricity generation decreased beginning in 1970. Thus, 53 percent of the nationwide installed power in 1970 was hydroelectric and provided 57 percent of the total. In 1980, percentages were 41 and 27, respectively, that being a low-runoff year, and rose to 36 percent of the overall power generation in 1981 when precipitation was heavy.
Hydroelectric generation developed unequally to the electricity sector’s overall growth, owing to the priority given at different times to the construction of thermoelectric plants. Consideration of the economic, social, operational, and conservation criteria for hydroelectric versus thermoelectric power generation shows that development of hydroelectric power is desirable.
Figures & Tables
This volume was developed, produced, and privately printed in Mexico, in Spanish, by the late Ing. G.P. Salas in 1988, as a Mexican contribution to the Geology of North America, with the understanding that it would be translated into English for inclusion in the set. The translation is by Dr. Cecily Petzall of Caracas, Venezuela, with considerable figure translation and redrafting provided by GSA. Salas worked on the volume until his death, with much valuable help from Ing. Hugo Cortez Guzmán. The result is a valuable English-language synthesis of the information available to Salas in the early to mid-1980s about the geothermal, coal, and metal-mining sectors (and some non-metallic resources) of the economic geology of Mexico.