The Chairman of IBERDROLA, Ignacio Galán, has called for greater legal certainty and a stable regulatory framework for energy in Spain, to ensure that the sector will be able to make the necessary investments in the long term.
In his speech at an event organised by the Valencia Trade Association (AVE), Galán pointed out that “the need to define an energy policy could be classified as a need at State level, because the regulatory framework has to be stable and for the long term and there have to be reasonable and predictable expectations as regards the return on the huge investments that are required”.
“Our present concerns are the lack of definition in the legislation regulating renewable energies, the adoption of protectionist policies for national coal and the unresolved debate on the future of nuclear energy. The problem of the tariff deficit is still dragging on and these are all aspects that complicate and hinder progress in liberalising the sector", he added.
In the Chairman’s opinion, “security of supply should be a priority aim, addressed from the perspective of sustainability, competitiveness and the need to reduce our country’s dependence on external energy sources”. Mr. Galán believes that it will be crucial to invest in conventional new generation sources while at the same time continuing with renewable development, promoting mature technologies such as wind energy resources, creating new networks and increasing interconnections.
He went on to say that Spain may require 100 billion euros in investments over the next 20 years.
The Chairman of IBERDROLA stated that the electricity sector can become "an essential lever in changing the economic model", as "it is crucial in attaining the environmental targets to which we are committed; it can obtain financial resources in international markets; it contributes towards increased structural stability in the system; it promotes investments in innovation; it has an international presence, and it is not speculatory, which lends a high degree of stability and sustainability to a strategic sector in any economy”.
As regards the situation of the Spanish economy, Ignacio Galán has called for “an ambitious programme of reforms aimed at changing the economic model”. He considers that it is essential “to reduce public expenditure by optimising how social services are provided”, and “to design more rational development for infrastructure, giving priority to investments in different regions in line with economic rather than political criteria”.
He also considers that it is important to call for greater efficiency in Public Administration, more flexibility in the job market, full liberalisation of the energy sector and "regulatory bodies and a justice administration that operate on a much more independent basis".
“To complement these structural transformations, measures should be taken to enhance the strength and competitiveness of our industrial fabric, such as those aimed at promoting corporate internationalisation, fostering the formation of leading groups to consolidate the productive fabric, supporting innovation, promoting forms of taxation that encourage and attract new investments, and giving greater recognition to entrepreneurs than to speculators,” he explained.
Changing the economic model
Ignacio Galán explained that the economic model that enabled the Spanish economy to undergo such strong growth in the period 1997-2008 “is not one that we will be able to rely on for the future”. “The property bubble was characterised by speculatory operations seeking short-term profits; not only do these operations fail to generate sustainable wealth for countries, they can even play a significant destabilising role”.
As regards the international scenario, the Chairman of IBERDROLA said that the profound economic crisis means that it is more necessary than ever to transform the model, as “there is no doubt whatsoever that nothing is going to be the same as it was before the start of the crisis”.
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