"Neither oligopoly, nor extraordinary profits"

The CEO of Endesa, José Bogas, lamented this Friday the “disheartening critical noise against the sector” and the “advantageous narratives” due to the rise in electricity last year, which has been related to the exponential rise in gas. That "enormous critical noise" is "most of the time undeserved" or based on "erroneous premises", said Bogas, who has defended the "honest and professional" performance of the sector: "Neither oligopoly, nor extraordinary benefits".

"We are one of the main industrial investors in Spain" and "we generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs", Bogas highlighted in his speech at the electricity company's annual shareholders' meeting. The executive has recognized that the current situation of the electricity markets in the EU, and in the face of "growing social tension" due to escalating inflation, "measures are warranted", but has defended that these must be addressed "at a European level".

An approach that moves away from the Iberian solution that Spain and Portugal have agreed upon, where Endesa concentrates its business. Both countries, based on their limited interconnection, will limit gas generation to 50 euros per megawatt hour (MWh). According to "very preliminary" estimates by Endesa, the cost of the measure "could exceed 6,000 million euros" and "would have to be assumed by the demand as a whole", but it is "very difficult to assess" its impact while waiting for know the details.

However, at Endesa "we maintain our roadmap". Bogas thanked Enel for his confidence in proposing his re-election as CEO at this meeting for the next four years. And he has recalled that Endesa already has "all the energy sold for this year at a price that has nothing to do with the spot", the wholesale market. Endesa owns the largest distribution network in the Iberian Peninsula and is the leading company in the sector in Spain and the second in Portugal.

The group, he recalled, aspires to invest 32,000 million in the 2021-30 period to deepen decarbonization. Last year, it increased its renewable capacity by 8%, to 8,400 megawatts (MW), with a portfolio of 77,000 MW, to fulfill its 2022-24 strategic plan. Coal accounted for "barely 1% of revenue" in 2021, Bogas pointed out.

The shareholders' question time has been a succession of nearly a dozen highly critical interventions by representatives of unions and the group of retirees of the company. One of them has accused the company of throwing them "into energy poverty" by eliminating the electricity subsidies that the company granted to its employees, who were once encouraged to have electric heating systems and now they are receiving “nonsense” bills. The cuts, endorsed by the Supreme Court, have caused a legal battle between those affected and the subsidiary of the Italian Enel.

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