An abundance of renewable energy potential along with direct access to busy shipping routes makes Mexico well-positioned to build a valuable zero carbon shipping fuels sector, according to a study conducted by Ricardo and EDF for the P4G Getting to Zero Coalition Partnership.
The study found that production of green hydrogen-derived shipping fuels could help Mexico meet its decarbonisation targets by catalysing renewable energy generation supply chains, skills, and economies of scale, which support the wider adoption of new technologies.
However, the study also determined that well-placed countries like Mexico will only reap the benefits if governments and the shipping industry ‘coordinate efforts for effective climate regulation’ to expedite the provision of fuels and infrastructure.
‘Our study has found that Mexico’s access to busy shipping routes and abundant renewable energy potential puts it in a good position to help drive the zero carbon fuel market,’ said Olivia Carpenter-Lomax, Future Energy Specialist and Project Lead, Ricardo. ‘Mexico can potentially supply both its domestic electrical demand as well as the production of zero carbon fuels to supply commercial vessels bunkering in its ports by use of renewable energy.’
Panos Spiliotis, Global Climate Shipping Manager, Environmental Defense Fund, added: ‘The shift towards zero carbon shipping needs to accelerate within the next decade and effective regulation will also create opportunities for countries to catalyse and benefit from this necessary transition. By moving early, Mexico can become a central actor in supplying the global demand for green fuel and attract investment of $7-$9 billion by 2030.’
According to the authors of the study, the abundance of renewable energy resources in Mexico means that shipping fuels can be derived from renewable electricity generation. The study reveals that several zero carbon fuels have the potential to be used to decarbonise maritime shipping.
‘The study has identified hydrogen and ammonia as the most suitable options for large commercial vessels such as tankers, containers and bulk carriers, while small vessels such as port service vessels can be supplied through electrification,’ said Dr. Santiago Suarez De La Fuente, Lecturer in Energy and Transport, UCL Energy Institute.
‘The renewable energy potential along with the advantageous locations of ports gives Mexico the opportunity to play a crucial role in driving the zero carbon shipping fuel transition.’
The report highlights the Ports of Manzanillo, Cozumel and Coatzacoalcos as ‘great’ examples of how different types of ports in Mexico could capitalise on a zero carbon transition. Apart from meeting decarbonisation targets, the transition would, say the study’s authors, diversify current port activities and create a hub for the production and export of zero carbon fuels.
This study is part of the P4G Getting to Zero Coalition Partnership, spotlighting the potential of regional hubs to pioneer zero-carbon shipping fuel development. As previously reported, a similar study published in June highlighted South Africa’s potential to lead the production of zero carbon bunkers.
The new report, Mexico: fuelling the future of shipping – Mexico’s role in the transformation of global shipping through green hydrogen-derived fuels, can be accessed here.