June 13, 2021

“In the medium term, the price of electricity will go down”

The CEO of Endesa, José Bogas, has predicted this Monday that “in the medium term, the price of electricity will fall”, thanks to the entry into the electrical system of new renewable energy plants, and once it is put into operation the fund that the Government has raised to remove the cost of older renewables from the rate and charge it to all energy consumers.

In an interview with the director of elDiario.es, Ignacio Escolar, who has closed the conference ‘The road to clean energy’, organized by this medium, Bogas has denied that the new electricity tariff that will come into force in June will promote “A great rise in electricity” and has wanted to break “a spear” in favor of the Executive to implement this new rate system.

In Bogas’s opinion, the new system, which, as the Government itself has recognized it is not going to make the receipt cheaper, will “facilitate” the use of electricity “with very cheap prices” in the hours with less demand to facilitate the entry of the electric car, although it will lead to “small increases in some peak moments”, when it is most consumed.

Bogas has indicated that the increases in the bill in recent months are explained “very clearly” by the evolution of the international price of emission rights and natural gas, and has explained that the new rate will be very beneficial for users of Electric cars with the following example: they are going to pay for electric tolls about 16 euros per year, compared to the 200 euros they currently pay. In addition, it will benefit other sectors such as agriculture, for which “it will be a blessing.”

Endesa’s chief executive has insisted that “a State pact for energy would be highly appreciated” in view of the upcoming final approval in Congress, scheduled for Thursday, of the Climate Change Law, which will foreseeably not have the consensus of all political groups.

The manager has pointed out that the objective that in 2030 at least 74% of the energy produced in Spain is renewable is achievable, but “challenging”, because it means putting 60,000 megawatts (MW) of new green energy into operation in this decade. And he insisted that “it may happen that there is a need to extend the life of nuclear power plants” beyond 2035, as provided for in the calendar agreed by the Government and electricity companies.

“Possibly”, it is necessary to maintain not the 7,000 nuclear megawatts (MW) that are operational, but “some” of the reactors if by then there is not enough backup power.

The executive has once again demanded that this source be freed from the taxation it supports, which makes nuclear “expensive”, because to have an “adequate” profitability of 5.5%, like other regulated businesses, they require wholesale market prices in the order of at least 55 euros per megawatt / hour, of which about 15 euros are taxes. With the current perspectives, “we will cover all current expenses and hopefully we will make profitable” the operation of a source which, he insisted, “is not amortized.”

Bogas has indicated that implementing the Government’s recovery plan “is going to be very difficult,” but there is no element to think that it will not go well. And he has assured that “it is not easy” to achieve decarbonisation in a company like Endesa, which was the national coal leader, and that next year it will be the vertically integrated power company that emits the least in the Peninsula, with the prospect that in 2030 80% of its production is emission-free.

The conference held this Monday, sponsored by Endesa and with the collaboration of the “la Caixa” Foundation, was opened by the fourth vice president, Teresa Ribera. During her speech, the Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has advocated for a “correct” incorporation of CO2 that does not “reduce” recovery, and has opted for “working on critical, significant aspects that allow us to have a reasonable electricity bill for domestic and industrial consumers.”

Before the interview with Bogas, and during a debate on energy efficiency, Valentín Alfaya, Ferrovial’s sustainability director and president of the Green Growth Group, highlighted the potential of recovery funds “to accelerate the roadmap towards transformation of the economy ”and especially cities, through the rehabilitation of buildings in a country where half of the 25 million homes live in buildings built before the 1980s.

Victoria Pellicer, energy technician at the Las Naves Foundation of the Valencia City Council, has defended that public-private financing is an “opportunity” to finance these actions, while the urban planner and consultant in sustainable planning Isabela Velázquez has called for an urbanism focused on “Rehabilitate, recycle, rethink, plan and transform without growing” after the “unbridled” growth of the 20th century, integrating proximity, the local economy, the exchange of goods in proximity, and avoiding “dependency of the automobile ”.

Mario Sánchez, an economist specializing in renewables and founder of the non-profit company Ecooo, has claimed that European funds do not subsidize self-consumption “without any type of filter”, and dedicate themselves to supporting neighborhoods “where there is real energy poverty” .

Sánchez, whose company has carried out more than 400 self-consumption installations, has regretted that at the moment this solution is not taking off in collective buildings “when the return on investment is even faster” than in single-family homes. He recalled that it is not necessary to agree with the entire community of owners: “Enough with the third part” and the investment is recovered “in 6-7 years.” “Everything that we manage to put in the city will be panels that we do not need to place in the middle of the field ”.

This issue, the impact of large plants, and especially photovoltaics, has focused the previous debate on The new scenario of electricity generation. The president of the National Association of Renewable Energy Producers and Investors (Anpier), Miguel Ángel Martínez-Aroca, has warned of the “perpetual and permanent damage to the environment and the landscape” generated by “plants that occupy 1,200 hectares”, and has asked the Ecological Transition to “regulate” against the “bubble” of large facilities.

A thesis that the general director of the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (Unef), José Donoso, has denied due to its “unscientific”. “You have to do things right”, but doubting the actions of the Administration when processing environmental permits for the facilities is equivalent to “prevarication.” According to Donoso, large plants on land are necessary to meet decarbonization commitments and allow “us to talk about relocation of companies, instead of relocation.” In addition, they allow their “reversibility”, once they are disassembled and after their operational life of about 25 years.

Rafael González, Endesa’s Generation Director, said for his part that these facilities are a “blessing” for emptied Spain and has defended that large and small plants “are perfectly compatible”. He has put the photovoltaic power plant in Totana (Murcia) as a “clear example of improving biodiversity” of a territory in an area that was previously dedicated to intensive agriculture.

Assumpta Farran, from the Catalan cooperative Som Energía, recalled for her part that debates similar to this one related to wind energy already arose ten years ago, during the “hunt” against renewables, and regretted that Spain has not “prepared ”At this time to have the solution to this question.


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