When the European economy was beginning to recover from the impact of the pandemic, the scope of the war in Ukraine has undermined the mainsprings of all production processes. To the humanitarian drama that accompanies every war conflict is added, in this case, the energy vulnerability in which Europe has been trapped.
Supply and demand patterns that have been disrupted, fractured long-standing trade relationships , a disruption in energy pricesvery high originated by the high prices of gas, which is up to eight and ten times above the historical prices of this fuel, and, in addition, we are seeing a serious threat in the fight against climate change . In short, for Miguel Temboury Molina, CEO of Endesa Noroeste, the continent is facing a complex situation to which Europe and Spain have responded in an agile, historical and shared way.. The director of the electrical company with a large presence in Galicia has opened the debate forum Renewable, competitive and stable. Energy solutions for companies in Galicia held in collaboration with La Voz de Galicia at the Santiago Rey Fernndez-Latorre museum. To do this, it has drawn the lines of structural change that the ecological transition process that began a few years ago entails, but that has been disrupted by the economic and energy crisis derived from the war from Ukraine.
The conflict blew up the essential supports of the economy with a special impact on the productive sector, which has seen, among other damages, a historic rise in the price of energy, essential for the maintenance of the chain of activity. To understand this scenario, Temboury described how in a few months the 40% dependence on Russian gas was reduced to less than 10%.and, together with the consumption containment plans, the demand for this fuel decreased by 15% in the EU as a whole (19% in Spain). Even so, the tension over the price of gas in international markets persists and all this has been transferred to consumption, with inflation levels that have not been seen in two decades. The answer, as Europe understands it, translates into “more renewable energy in the generation of electricity, accelerating the ecological transition that had already been undertaken a few years ago, but by electrifying the final demand for energy, because having a fully renewable generation system is of little use if the final consumer continues to use fossil fuels, the Endesa manager specifies.
A diligent reaction that resulted, Miguel Temboury recalled, in the launch of the Repower EU Plan a few weeks after the start of the war and which aims to reduce energy dependence without losing sight of the long-term objectives of sustainability and affordability. Measures on short-term gas suppliers, and long-term oil and coal, seeking diversification of fuels such as renewable hydrogen , savings at all levels (citizens, companies…), contingency in the event of supply interruption and acceleration of the transition to clean energy in the conviction that renewable sources are cheap and without subsidies, clean and indigenous, without dependence on imports of third countries, in some cases unreliable, he specified.
The European program is added to the one that was already underway: the Next Generation funds , which, if they were already opportune to reactivate the economy after the pandemic, are now being used even more to solve the problem of energy dependence.
Temboury has no doubts. The funds assigned to Spain are very large; We are talking about 77,000 million euros in subsidies to which should be added the possibility of activating loans for a value of 84,000 million euros and the subsidies that come within the Repower EU investment package related to the auction of emission rights that add another 20,000 million. In total, we are facing the possibility of using 160,000 million euros in Spain mainly for the energy and digital transition. Even before the war in Ukraine, 39.7% of the recovery plan funds in Spain were allocated to investments related to energy changes and 28.7% to digital ones. The boost will be spectacular, which will turn the energy sector into aengine of growth and development throughout the country and also in Galicia.
These funds are very well targeted and ambitious. Both the volume of resources mobilized and the priority destination of these funds is very well designed, the manager specifies. The main challenge is its execution because it is very time-tested. We only have three years to allocate 77,000 million grants , two have already passed and there is no clear information on what has already been allocated (about 28,000). Two-thirds of the time has elapsed and one-third of the money has been allocated. We are going to have to run a lot in 2023.
In this investment context, Galicia stands out as a territory capable of becoming a renewable energy hub, especially in wind, hydraulic and hydrogen due to its inexhaustible resources. That yes, warns the director of Endesa, has to expedite the step in terms of resolution of the administrative procedures of projects planned in the territory to return to occupy the first positions, today with Aragon and Andalucia in the r Ranking of communities with the greatest wind potential.