Natural gas is the least polluting fossil fuel, so the most efficient natural gas-based power generation technologies are considered clean energy sources. The most efficient technology corresponds to the combined cycle power plants where electricity is generated by the joint use of two turbines: one of steam and one of gas. The combined cycle power plants accounts for more than 50% of the electricity generation in Mexico, due to the access to the natural gas market of the United States of America, which currently has the lowest prices in the world. Ennova America firmly believes that investment in combined cycle power plants is currently the best option to generate electricity in Mexico due to the following reasons:
Clean energy: Natural gas is the cleanest option for thermal energy generation. Compared to coal, natural gas can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 60 percent, has 80% less NOx and virtually no SO2, mercury or particulate emissions. Natural gas-fueled generation also consumes 40 to 60 percent less fresh water than electricity produced from coal.
Abundant resource: The United States is the largest natural gas producer in the world. Its proved reserves are estimated to supply increasing demand over the next 100 years. Mexico is interconnected to US natural gas reserves through an extensive network of pipelines, which represents an important source of energy security.
Reliability: Unlike many forms of renewable energy, natural gas-fueled generation is not intermittent. A combined cycle power plant will continue to produce electricity in the absence of the sun or wind. Because renewable generation is intermittent, grid operators must have an electricity supply that can be immediately dispatched in the case where a large amount of electricity based on renewable energy comes out of the grid. As a result, natural gas power generation is a good ally to complement renewable energy, helping to make these industries viable.
Profitability: The construction of a natural gas power plant costs less than half of what a coal power plant costs and at least a quarter of what a nuclear power plant costs. Additionally, its construction times are much shorter. This allows to offer lower electricity prices to consumers.
Availability: Mexico has access to an abundant source of clean energy through the existing infrastructure of gas pipelines interconnected to the United States natural gas reserves.
Operational flexibility: The power plant can operate at full load or partial loads, up to a minimum of approximately 45% of the maximum power.
High Efficiency: The combined cycle provides greater efficiency over a wider power range.