August 5, 2021

Iberdrola and Agbar call for clear regulatory frameworks for the electricity and water sectors | Economy

Iberdrola and Agbar call for clear regulatory frameworks for the electricity and water sectors | Economy



The presidents of Iberdrola and Agbar, Ignacio Sánchez Galán and Ángel Simón, agreed on Monday to demand a clear framework to respond to the challenges of their sectors and guarantee regulatory stability. According to both, these frameworks will also allow attracting capital and address the necessary investments for the coming years, which amount to 70,000 million euros in the electricity sector for the next 10 years and 45,000 million in the water sector from now on until 2033

The heads of the two groups have taken advantage of his speech at the conference "The great transformation of public services: 40 years that changed Spain (1978-2018)", held at the Congress of Deputies on Monday to compare the spirit behind it It marked the Constitution to underline the will of consensus, which has also emphasized the president of the employers of large construction (Seopan), Julian Núñez, who stressed the need to prioritize investments in infrastructure and change the financing model .

Sánchez Galán, for whom these frameworks are necessary to support "those who look to the future instead of remaining anchored in the past, penalizing technologies that do not emit pollution while artificially maintaining competitiveness, encouraging a fair and balanced distribution of environmental costs "He is confident that the Energy Transition Law establishes" clear and ambitious objectives, coherent planning and regulatory mechanisms that guarantee a more efficient achievement ".

The president of Iberdrola, said that this ambition has to help the digitalization of electricity networks and increase storage capacity both large-scale and with batteries. In that sense, he again advocated to facilitate self-consumption and to facilitate the creation of infrastructures to develop the electric vehicle.

In this context, he believes that it is "perfectly achievable" that in 2030 between 70% and 80% of electricity consumption comes from renewable energy, although he considers that for this purpose the criterion that "the polluter pays" must be applied. To his jicio, the environment is not a problem, but a great opportunity to create wealth and employment, but always that we apply that criterion; otherwise, we will not succeed. "

Galán, in the review of the last 40 years, highlighted the evolution experienced by the electricity sector both in the business world (it has gone from 15 companies to five) and in the regulatory, with the different plans promulgated. In this period the rates, without taxes, "have increased 30% less than the average income of a family, 40% less than the price of square meter of housing in the capital and 45% less than the cost of a product basic like bread. " Including taxes, the increase has been 7%, while the quality of supply is nine times better than in 1987.

Unique water regulator

Regulation also spoke, with emphasis, Ángel Simón. The president of Aguas de Barcelona, ​​after recalling that there are 8,124 municipalities in Spain and stating that "we need to advance and strengthen the current regulation of the sector to solve water imbalances and prevent ideological positions from stopping the development and implementation of effective solutions, called for a regulator The only one that allows a governance that clarifies the role assumed by each one and its responsibilities, that is, "the single regulator would mark the clear rules and, in case of non-compliance, certain sanctions".

In his opinion, governance requires that water be a state issue and that the necessary agreements to secure supply be reached, one of the requirements of the United Nations. And that "no citizen who can not pay is left without access, especially to those who are in a situation of vulnerability."

For Simon, the best vehicle to achieve sectoral challenges is the public-private collaboration that he believes has been consolidated "as a model of success in sectors that require large infrastructures to contribute to the economic progress of the country."

It also requires essential responses for the sustainability of the planet and for this a coordinated Europe is needed to make a revision of the Water Directive to implement a circular economy, which should be a priority. The paradigm shift involves the transformation of treatment plants into biofactories to recover water, resources and energy. That is, improve the reuse of water. Now only 20% that returns to the environment have been treated, and 80% have a polluting load.

Julián Núñez, on the other hand, included water management as one of the five factors that determine the change to improve infrastructure along with population growth, the disruptive potential of mobility, economic evolution and public education.

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