Interview with Arturo Gonzalo
A current energy issue in Spain which would be of interest to our readers.
Throughout 2009 and 2010 a multi-party Commission created within the Spanish Congress conducted a study with the aim of developing proposals to define a 25-year strategy for the Spanish energy sector. In December 2010, it agreed on the required measures that, if adopted, have far-reaching consequences not only for the energy sector, but for the economy as a whole. The findings illustrate the extent of work needed if Spain is to achieve its goal of environmental and economical sustainability.
Concerning electricity generation, the promotion of renewable sources and the development of related technologies are emphasised as key to the long term cost reductions associated with learning curves in the industry. The Commission also considers that further regulation related to power stations will be required to solve the intermittency problems associated with renewable sources. Likewise, the need to develop an integrated network for the supply and distribution of gas is noted, as is the potential of this source of energy in the special cases of the Canary and Balearic islands. Since hydrocarbon will continue to be a very significant portion of the energy mix, Carbon Capture and Storage technology should also be implemented as it becomes economically feasible to improve the sustainable profile of fossil fuels. Concerning the nuclear sector, continued participation in international co-operation efforts that preserve and promote knowledge and technological capacities is important, as is the definition of policy regarding nuclear electricity production. Participation in international energy programs will also be vital to the technological development of future energy sources.
Other sectors that will be affected by the new approach to energy are those related to consumers. These include not only the transport and building industries but also other large consumers of energy. The report detailed the need to find substitutes for oil and reduce the overall demand for associated products. The promotion of bio-fuels and the development of infrastructure to promote and manage the demand from electric vehicles will be fundamental in achieving this goal. Improvements in the building industry that promote efficiency and consumer awareness are also important to ensuring this sector contributes to sustainability objectives.
Infrastructure will be the key to meeting both national and European goals. Connections of electricity and gas grids with Portugal and France are not only important from a security of supply perspective, but also for the promotion of competitiveness and the achievement of Europe´s Internal Market. These measures will need to be complemented with a simplified regulatory framework promoting decentralized, intelligent power generation and better reflecting the real investment needs of the grids. As new technologies come on line, such as carbon capture, new mechanisms will also need to be developed to incorporate advances that will assist in reaching the country's energy objectives.
Your plans to ensure that the Spanish MC remains active in WEC's work, including areas of interest for your country.
In my new role as President of the Spanish National Committee, one of my priorities is to improve the visibility of the Spanish Committee (CECME), not only at the national level, but also in the international arena. Nationally, we are hoping to broaden the association's social base in order to gain a better understanding of the diverse issues that affect the energy industry today. Government agencies, regulators and academic institutions can all offer perspectives that enrich the debate and give the Spanish Committee a better insight into important issues. Likewise, future events that improve the visibility of CECME and WEC at the national level will help the organisation develop its role as an interlocutor for the various interests in the industry. In line with our aim to increase our involvement at the international level, we have nominated seven Spanish experts to participate in nine of the WEC´s working groups and knowledge networks and we look forward to contributing with our point of view to the debates within the World Energy Council and hope to learn from different perspectives.
What Repsol hopes to gain from being a WEC Global Partner.
Repsol hopes to gain from the extensive network of contacts and from taking part in the associated activities organized by WEC for the Patron and Global Partner Programmes. We also hope to benefit from the various points of view offered within WEC. As the regulatory environment changes over the coming years, sharing experiences and opinions with other WEC members will be invaluable to the company as it builds on its recent successes. In a world where energy is increasingly a global issue, where the integration of energy markets is a priority, and the diffusion of new technologies a necessity, being a WEC Global Partner is, without a doubt, enriching for Repsol as a company with a stake in 'inventing the future'.
The World Energy Council in partnership with Oliver Wyman (global consulting firm) has over the past year worked on its third Assessment of country energy and climate policy aiming to identify key areas for policy improvements and to understand how successful policies can be transferred from one country to another. more >