September 26, 2020

Power companies ask the Government to increase the ceiling on investment in networks to accelerate recovery



The president of the Association of Electric Power Companies (AELEC), Marina Serrano, has demanded this Wednesday the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge to increase the investment limit to electricity distribution again to promote recovery, after the increase approved in June.

“We want to be a lever for economic reconstruction”, said Serrano, assuming the proposal launched shortly before by Miguel Antoñanzas, president and CEO of Viesgo, a company belonging to AELEC.

During his speech in the course “The Energy Sector in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. Towards sustainability and the energy transition”, at the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) in Santander, Serrano pointed out that the private sector will have a key role in the recovery from the collapse of GDP and the rebound in Spanish public debt due to the coronavirus crisis, and has offered to “advance investments” in the next triennium.

Shortly before, at the opening of the course, Antoñanzas had offered his commitment to “substantially” increase Viesgo’s investments through an “intensive network investment plan”, in exchange for an increase in the investment limit set by the Government. Ecological Transition already raised it last June, after lifting the state of alarm, from 0.13% to 0.14% of GDP, after the power companies claimed it at the business summit that was then organized by the CEOE employer’s association.

The president of Aelec has called for “consensus” to move forward with the climate change law, currently in the amendment phase, and launch adequate “investment signals” for recovery. The Secretary of State for Climate Change, Sara Aagesen, has trusted that this law “will be approved in 2020” given that “there is a great parliamentary consensus.”

Aagesen, who has inaugurated the course together with the president of Cantabria, Miguel Ángel Revilla, and Antoñanzas, has called for “reflection” to “take advantage of every euro” of the European recovery fund agreed in July, which will be very focused on the transition energy, which is an “opportunity” to create “quality and sustainable employment” and achieve a “much more competitive” industry.

The Secretary of Energy, who stressed that all the agents in the sector “have been able to respond to the guarantee of supply” during the worst moments of the pandemic, pointed out that Spain is a country “especially well positioned” to address the energy transition because “both civil society and companies and governments” from different fields are “convinced that the lever for recovery is green.”

The counselor of the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) Mariano Bacigalupo has indicated for his part that the body will address “immediately” the new access and connection circular “in intense communication” with the Government, which has a decree pending on this aspect.

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