Speaking in Davos, Ignacio Galán defends change in energy mix to enable development and integration of mature renewables
- During his participation in the panel on “The Transformation of Energy” at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum
- Hydroelectric generation, onshore and offshore wind power and solar photovoltaic will spearhead this transformation, which should be accompanied by improvements in networks and back-up and storage technologies
- The Chairman of Iberdrola had positive words for the outcome of the Climate Summit in Paris, but he believes that the right carbon pricing signals must be issued in order to meet the commitments that have been undertaken
The Chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, took part today in the panel discussion titledThe Transformation of Energy, during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum which starts today in Davos-Klosters (Switzerland).
Mr. Galán described a scenario for the coming decades that will be characterised, first of all, by a 40% increase in the demand for energy until 2040, and, secondly, by the commitments derived from the Climate Summit in Paris held last December.
“The only change capable of enabling these two trends is a substantial overhaul in the energy mix, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and increasing the distribution of electricity, particularly in sectors like transport”, explained Iberdrola’s Chairman.
During his talk, Ignacio Galán explained which technologies will undergo the most significant development in the years to come: those that are mature enough to enable mass-scale solutions at a reasonable cost.
The main examples provided by the Chairman of Iberdrola were hydroelectric energy, which will increase by 60% in the next 25 years on account of the projects underway in China, Latin America, India and Africa; and wind power (both onshore and offshore). He also referred to the progress made by solar photovoltaic energy, which is becoming increasingly efficient.
“The more significant contribution by these technologies – explained the Chairman of Iberdrola – will require increasing the absorption capacity of the system. If this is to be achieved, we will have to invest in networks, back-up capacity (mostly combined cycle power plants) and energy storage systems (in particular, pumped storage power plants)”.
Outcome of the Climate Summit in Paris
“The agreement reached in Paris reaffirms Iberdrola’s strategy, which is based on clean energies, networks and storage”, explained the company’s Chairman at the Forum in Davos.
Ignacio Galán reminded those in attendance that Iberdrola was originally focused on hydroelectric generation and that the Group was one of the first to commit fifteen years ago to the development of wind power. This determination has led the group to become the world leader, with some 15,000 megawatts (MW) in operation.
The Chairman of Iberdrola also had positive words for the outcome of the Paris Summit, because despite the fact that it is a general framework that will have to be developed with more specific measures, it nonetheless improves security for the sector.
Mr. Galán added that in this regard the most efficient tool for meeting the commitments undertaken in Paris will be to give the right signals for carbon pricing. “This signal should be strong enough to drive the technological shift”.
In the opinion of the Chairman of Iberdrola, this price signal to drive the decarbonisation of the economy should be accompanied by policies enabling long-term financial sustainability for the industry, with a level playing-field and incentive mechanisms that do not have an impact on consumers’ bills, such as the tax credits for investment that are available in the United States.