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Energy regulation to promote geothermal energy in Mexico

Geothermal Electricity Production

geothermal flash steam

Inside the Earth's crust there are several reservoirs with hot water which can be used for heating buildings and/or production of electricity. The process causes relatively little CO2 emissions (from the steam), which could potentially be reinjected in the earth's crust through carbon capture and storage. Contrary to conventional geothermal power plants, present generation plants re-inject the condensated steam or hot water into the underground acquifer so that the reservoir capacity could remain intact.

Clean Development Mechanism market status: 

[this information is kindly provided by the UNEP Risoe Centre Carbon Markets Group]

Project developers of geothermal projects in the CDM pipeline mainly apply the following methdologies:

ACM2 “Consolidated baseline methodology for grid-connected electricity generation from renewable sources”
AMS-I.D. “Grid connected renewable electricity generation”
AMS I.C. “Thermal energy production with or without electricity”
Further information on these metholodogies can be found here.

There are 14 geothermal projects in the CDM pipeline. Projects based on geothermal energy, therefore, represent a very small part of all CDM projects in the pipeline. It is worth noting that more than 1/3 of all geothermal CDM projects are located in Indonesia. [media:image:6]

Example CDM project:Amatitlan Geothermal Project by Ortitlan Limitada (CDM Ref. No. 2022)
The Amatitlan Geothermal Project is a geothermal power plant in the Department of Escuintla, in Guatemala. Total installed capacity of the project will be 25.2 MW, with an actual net capacity of 20.5 MW. The plant will utilise three turbines (two with installed capacities of 12 MW each, and one at 1.2 MW) and has a predicted power generation of 162,000 MWh per annum. The purpose of the project is to utilise the geological resources of the Amatitlan Geothermal Field in a state-of-the-art geothermal power plant to generate renewable energy that will be dispatched to the grid.
Project investment: N.A.
Project CO2 reduction over a crediting period of 7 years: 580,849 tCO2e
Expected CER revenue (USD 10/CER): 5,808,490

To assist the CRE in defining the necessary actions to promote the installation of geothermal projects, making use of the regulator’s new powers.


15° 46' 46.92" S, 47° 55' 46.92" W
Main activity and output: 
  • Hire consultant with international experience in order to assist CRE
  • Assist in developing a conceptual model of geothermal potential for power generation; one which will help to develop instruments and methodologies to promote geothermal use
  • Suggest the necessary changes to regulatory instruments so they may fit the policies established by the Energy Ministry
Expected impact: 
  • Regulations and policies in place that attract investment in geothermal energy projects from private sector developers
  • Increased geothermal energy capacity, particularly in the northwestern region of Mexico, where tectonic plate conditions make geothermal a feasible option


The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) is an active, global partnership that works to reduce the barriers limiting the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, with a primary focus on emerging markets and developing countries.