“It is our obligation as citizens to tackle the consequences of climate change”

The CEO of Iberdrola Spain, Ángeles Santamaría. / alex rivera

Santander Women NOW

The CEO of Iberdrola Spain, Ángeles Santamaría, explained during her conversation at Santander WomenNOW the consequences and reasons for the energy crisis

Fernando Morales-Rodriguez

These have not been normal months in terms of energy information. Since the pandemic began, companies have had to face great periods of uncertainty that have forced them to adapt from minute to minute to the situations that have arisen. From that moment, due to the lack of gas supply and the increasing price rise, the war in Ukraine began in February, which further aggravated an energy crisis that, as explained in Santander WomenNOW by the CEO of Iberdrola Spain, Ángeles Santamaría, is not a crisis in the sector or in electrical energy, but has its origin in the fossil fuels that drag electricity.

A crisis that will have consequences. The first, in his opinion, is the need for energy independence, more so in Spain where renewables are one of the few resources we have. Something "very relevant" that has been put on the table again not only because of climate change but because renewables are one of the ways to mitigate dependence on gas but above all because they help accelerate the energy transition.

Right now, as he related, energy is produced by renewables to produce electricity. But energy is more than electricity, so the key "is to produce more and more clean electricity -in Spain in 2021, 68% of electricity is emission-free- and with it replace fossil fuels in final uses" Santamaria assured. That is, “electrification based on clean electricity based on renewables”. For the CEO, this is the path to follow, although she acknowledged that "we are already late".

And he clarified one thing: “it is not the energy transition that is the cause of current prices”, although Santamaría assured that this transition implies a change in the business model and it must be done “with a quick look policy”. And in Spain, he continued, we went out to win. "We have many strong points to take advantage of and it is a real opportunity for Spain." And it is that, as he exemplified, 90% of the equipment that Iberdrola buys for the distribution networks is manufactured by Spanish companies that also export to international markets.

What he also defended is that "it is our obligation as citizens to try to attack and stop the consequences of climate change with concrete measures." In other words, it is a generational task where the CEO remembered green hydrogen, “another energy vector that offers, among other aspects, industrial development and quality employment. Thus, Santamaría sees in the crisis not only an opportunity to accelerate the energy transition, but also energy independence and an opportunity for development.”

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