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Mexico: Making cheese with solar thermal energy

September 17, 2019

A Mexican cheese factory is just one company turning to the sun's heat to cut down on emissions. It's part of a project encouraging energy-hungry industrial enterprises to make the switch to solar thermal power.

Mexiko Erneuerbare Energien Global Ideas
Image: DW/Wolfgang Bernert

Mexico: promoting solar thermal energy

Project aim: To encourage industrial enterprises in Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa to make greater use of solar thermal energy

Project implementation: German Solar Industry Association (BSW)

Project partners: Department of Energy, South Africa; Ministry of Development, Industry, and Trade, Brazil; Ministry of Energy (SENER), Mexico; Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India

Budget: Funded with €2,845,921 ($3,143,833) from  German Environment Ministry through its International Climate Initiative (IKI) project "Climate Protection in the Industrial Sector through Solar Process Heat – SOLARPAYBACK"

Project duration: October 2016 to September 2019

Industrial processes consume huge amounts of energy and make a major contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. But companies can switch to renewables — particularly if they're located in parts of the world with a flourishing solar thermal sector.

In countries like Mexico, solar thermal power — which captures the sun's heat energy — is already competitive on price. Many companies don't use it simply because they have no experience with it, or just don't realize its commercial potential. Mexican cheese factory Lacteos Mojica was convinced to try out the technology.

The company produces 40 tons of cheese weekly and now uses energy from the sun to heat up the 8000 liters (2113 gallons) of water every day, cutting down on the gas it uses. 

A film by  Wolfgang Bernert