Myths and truths about renewable energies in Mexico

For Iberdrola México, renewable energies are the present. We opted for them because they secure a sustainable future for humanity. Environmentally friendly, they are the best social strategy against climate change. Also, their production is a mandate of Goal 7 of the UN 2030 Agenda, which clearly sets forth the commitment to boost affordable non-polluting energies; in other words, energies produced from renewable sources like wind and sun.

Nevertheless, there are several myths about their production, and you need to know accurate information on a timely basis. Therefore, we invite you to learn about the most common myths around renewable energies.

MYTH: It is expensive to produce renewable energies.

TRUTH: With today’s technology, producing energy from renewable sources (e.g., wind and sun) is cheaper than using non-renewable sources, like fuel oil or gas. According to specialists, the average cost of producing one megawatt from wind or solar energy is US$ 70, compared to US$130 from fuel oil.

MYTH: Installing wind and/or solar parks renders agricultural land infertile.

TRUTH:  Wind turbines and roads for wind parks require a very small area, so the land can continue to be used for agricultural and cattle-raising activities. It is worth to note that an environmentally responsible company must permanently maintain its infrastructure, including wind turbines, to avoid spill of oil and other material that can damage the environment. At Iberdrola we carry out these efforts to deliver on the promise to generate clean energies to take care of the planet.

The benefit of solar parks is twice because while the project is under way, the landowner receives rent income and, in addition, the land rests and recovers most of the nutrients that are critical to quality agriculture. Besides, it should be noted that most of these solar parks are established in places that are not earmarked for agriculture and/or cattle-raising.

MYTH: Wind turbines in wind parks put birds in danger and make a deafening noise, too.

TRUTH: These statements are not correct. Although it is true that wind turbine blades can put birds and bats at risk, previous environmental impact assessment studies are conducted. Furthermore, investment is made in resources and technology to avoid causing harm to this fauna. Permanent actions include ongoing monitoring and scaring away through light and ultra-sound devices under the supervision and assistance of experts in the field of biology and zootechnics.

Regarding the deafening noise attributed to wind turbines, it should be noted that these devices do not emit any noise that might disturb communities close to wind parks or people driving along a nearby road.

MYTH: Wind and solar energy are intermittent and therefore not reliable.

TRUTH: This statement is not correct because although this kind of energy depends on environmental conditions (wind and sunshine), it is a fact that this type of power plants are located where proper conditions exist to use the largest possible amount of the available resource. Also, technology is dynamically evolving, enabling all renewable energy plants in Mexico to have storage techniques and therefore backup alternative power generation in the future.

MYTH: Solar panels, wind measuring towers, and wind turbines cause diseases like cancer among people living close to a wind or solar park.

TRUTH: No solar or wind field component causes any disease, and clearly not cancer. Research conducted over the years by specialized and independent entities has found no relation between this technology and health damage.

Iberdrola México has built 5 wind parks in Oaxaca and Puebla, and two solar parks in Sonora and San Luis Potosí. With our presence in Mexico, we provide direct jobs to 1,300 employees, and we have become a socially responsible player in the virtuous cycle of the new economy in the regions where we are established. Our interest in renewable energies is a bet on the present and the future, and part of the commitment to the environment that drives us to continue generating clean energy.