Decarbonising the Yucatan region of Mexico

A British Council Newton Fund Researcher Links Workshop

Partners: University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield, Cinvestav Unidad Mérida
January 2017



- Cinvestav / British Council / Newton Fund / Rofilms, junio de 2018. Documental “SECOS”: TrailerFicha técnicaCartel


The DYRM Workshop

With a total of 34 participants representing 11 Mexican institutions and 12 UK institutions, from both the public (academia) and the third sectors, the DYRM Workshop: 1) presented some 31 talks including three keynote lectures, making these publically available, 2) through world-café formats mapped decarbonisation challenges and strategies in the buildings, transport, industry and food sectors of Yucatan, 3) developed eight proposed research programmes and teams to tackle specific aspects of these challenges. The nature of the exchanges have primarily been with respect to: a) identifying research challenges and the strategies and teams to address them – with a view to acquiring research funding to do so, b) exchanging best practice in research methodologies, c) establishing informal (without dedicated funding) relationships to immediately pursue common research interests (e.g. in solar cell technology). Many links have been made, both nationally (within the UK and within Mexico) and internationally (between the UK and Mexico).


The workshop led to the formulation of eight outline prospective research programmes. . These programmes address: 1) region-wide energy system modelling, 2) integrated urban monitoring and modelling platforms, 3) housing decarbonisation, 4) food sector decarbonisation, 5) public transport system efficiencies, 6) use of ammonia and hydrogen as energy vectors, 7) seawater desalination with solar energy, and 8) social and environmental impacts of big-scale renewable energy projects.

Mexico is energetically independent, but more than 80% of its energy supply is derived from fossil fuels. National laws and regulations in support of alternative forms of energy are very recent, with a fledgling nuclear energy industry and modest investments in wind (amidst land and social conflicts) and more recently in biofuels. A new law on energy transitions seeks to accelerate the transition to clean energy technologies. But open questions remain: which business models will be most promising in stimulating energy transitions? What are the social consequences? To what extent can behaviour reduce demand and fuel poverty be alleviated? With regards to the Yucatan Peninsula an additional challenge relates to the increased diffusion of clean and renewable energy technologies without impacting on fragile ecosystems and tourism.

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