Teresa Ribera, Third Vice President and Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, gives her vision on environmental sustainability in our country, in a forum organized by ‘The newspaper of Spain‘and Prensa Ibérica, in which representatives of important Spanish companies have also participated, in which science in sustainability has also had a voice.
Fernando Garea, director of ‘The newspaper of Spain‘, was in charge of opening the event by talking with the third vice president about the issues related to the energy transition that most concern us all, administration, companies and citizens. Regarding the results obtained after the glasgow summitTeresa Ribera highlighted that, although we are still a long way from achieving the objectives set, there is a perceived predisposition to do so on the part of all countries. “The importance of multilateralism has been very present at the summit, despite the scars associated with a terrible pandemic, to which we have had a very uneven response capacity: rich countries had a large amount of money to produce a vaccine and to generalize its use and, also, for economic recovery. While others did not even have the capacity to sustain elementary health services and many of them were experiencing the consequences of climate change with great intensity ”. The Vice-President also highlighted the fact that, in Glasgow, for the first time, all countries have clearly expressed their intention to gradually reduce until the elimination of coal and to give the political, economic and technical weight that all investment deserves.
Looking at the Spanish business community, Ribera has highlighted the involvement of the companies of our country in this great transformation. “It is not easy, because it is about radically changing all our premises, but there is interest in doing so in practically all areas from energy to mobility, also including urban services.” In addition, the minister added: “It is imperative carry out a capillary reflection in which each one, from their own orbit, wonders how they can improve their chances of success and be clear about those elements their clients, observers, financiers and, in short, those that help them generate internal value “.
The vice president also addressed the issue of rising energy: “This mismatch between gas supply and demand has occurred when we abandoned an energy model based on coal and oil and turned to gas when this sector was not yet available. prepared. In the government we have been working on this problem since before the summer. We have acted on several fronts, firstly to try to mitigate the effect of this rise in wholesale electricity markets on the bills we pay at homes and, secondly, to try to work with the European Commission on the alerts that this was generating and to be able to offer joint responses at the European level. In the domestic sphere, we are committed to taking measures where we could: in the 2/3 of the bills traditionally associated with the taxation of electricity and the fixed costs of the system. We have discharged taxation through a reduction in the tax burden on electricity of more than 60% and we have also discharged the part of charges that depends on the Government by 96%. The objective of this was that all Spaniards could be paying at the end of the year a figure equivalent to what they paid at the end of the year 2018 ”.
Regarding how electricity prices affect the industry, Ribera recalled that “some companies had agreed a percentage of their consumption established in a bilateral contract and another part of their consumption exposed to that volatility. These previous contracts have been maintained and it has been possible to transfer part of that overrun; but it is evidently that the situation generates inflation in the whole of the economic activity ”. Regarding the short-term delay in energy prices, the minister declared that “All the indicators point to the fact that gas will continue to be high and, therefore, electricity will continue to be expensive. We will continue to do what we have done so far: maintain an exemption, an important reduction in taxation and maintain a significant decrease in those charges, those fixed costs of the system, to try to stabilize as much as possible that electricity bill in homes, while we are watching how they can be supported can industrial consumers be supported ”.
Roadmap of the ecological transition in Spain
Garea also asked the vice president about the Recovery Plan and the Ecological Transition; who responded that “the more and the better and the faster we do, the better prepared we are for the challenges we have to tackle. We feel the responsibility of being very agile in the processing of those resources that have a capillary impact on SMEs, consumers, medium and large companies and public administrations. Until December 31, our obligation was to execute a little more than 7,000 million euros and we have executed almost 6,400, that is, 95%. This means that we have multiplied by three the volume that we usually manage in a year. The autonomous communities are also making a big effort and there are very positive reactions from smaller local units, such as municipalities, for example ”.
Regarding the interest that PERTE ERHA arouses, for innovative renewables, renewable hydrogen and storage, Ribera affirms that “We have to deploy to the maximum everything that already exists and is available; strive to generalize technologies that are accessible. That is what this PERTE represents, how we organize this accompaniment at the moment when we have a reasonable and direct vision of those things that are going to be key, but are not well developed yet. We are a country with a lot of accumulated professional, human, technological and industrial capacities in these fields, so it has to be an agenda of opportunities, a kind of investment guide of where and how, making clear what the deadlines are for the calendar estimates ”. Ribera concluded his speech by highlighting the importance of the media to bring these terms that are so important for the energy transition, but still unknown to the general public, Garea picked up the glove and assured that, from El Periódico de España, we will do everything possible for bringing this knowledge to the final audience.