A geothermal training programme, which was specifically aimed at young geoscientists, was held in Mexico between November 24 and 29 in the geothermal power plant in Los Azufres. The trainers came from Iceland GeoSurvey.
The participants had diverse educational backgrounds and came from all over Mexico. Some were doing undergraduate studies whilst others had postgraduate education and a few were fresh recruits in the geothermal energy sector. In addition, employees from the power plant in Los Azufres took part in the programme.
Surface geothermal exploration was the main topic where the applications of geological, geochemical and geophysical studies and data interpretation were introduced. Environmental issues were also addressed, such as how environmental impact and risk assessment affect conceptual geothermal modelling.
The course was designed and aimed at the new generation of geothermal scientists in Mexico. It was organized by the United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP) in collaboration with the Mexican government, CEMIE-Geo Centro Mexicano de Innovación en Energía Geotérmica) and CFE (Comisión Federal de Electricidad) in Mexico. Supervisors came from Iceland GeoSurvey, Bjarni Gautason, Gylfi Páll Hersir and Halldór Ármannsson. Geocientists from Mexico presented status reports on geothermal utilization and exploration in their country and locally at Los Azufres.
Presently there are plans to abolish the monopoly of the Mexican State for the production, distribution and sale of electricity. This will result in substantial changes within the energy sector. Mexico is the 13th largest independent nation in the world with an estimated population of close to 114 million. Installed geothermal electric capacity is 980 MWe (2013), which ranks the fourth highest in the world. The use of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, biomass and hydro is on the increase but geothermal is, however, the largest renewable energy resource.