The President of Repsol, Antonio Brufau, has harshly criticized the National Fund for the Sustainability of the Electricity System, which the Government wants to set up «that breaks the principle of equity and technological neutrality aiming to achieve climate neutrality ”.
With this new fund, the Executive wants the 7,000 million euros that all consumers pay annually in the electricity bill for premiums for renewable energies are progressively assumed by all energy companies in Spain.
Brufau said, during his speech at the shareholders’ meeting held today electronically at the company’s headquarters, that this fund “is contrary to the energy transition process because again it mistakenly confuses electrification with decarbonisation, and intends that all energy sectors finance the extra-costs of renewable electricity projects, almost all of which have failed, early this century. This has little to do with the future sustainability of the electrical system.
He added that “we have frequently heard interested or uninformed voices calling for new tax charges for fuels invoking the” polluter pays “principle, when with the tax burden consumers are already paying 200 euros for each ton of CO2 emitted, through the Special Tax on Hydrocarbons ».
Brufau asked her several questions: “Isn’t it true that almost half of the CO2 that is in the atmosphere today, and that will remain in it for hundreds of years, comes from the production of electrical energy, mainly in coal-fired power plants? Why is the electricity sector not being called upon to face up to its past responsibilities? When have coal plants paid a price for their CO2 emissions comparable to what each and every fuel consumer is paying? Can you imagine the amount of emission mitigation actions that could have been carried out with the more than 11,000 million euros collected annually in Spain for this purpose through the Hydrocarbons tax? “
He has insisted that “part of their income cannot be expropriated from hydrocarbon consumers, arguing for environmental reasons when the main ones” are others. It is a question, plain and simple, of benefiting a few and that many others pay the bill.
And he added that “in addition to serious harm to consumers, the fund represents a significant and arbitrary barrier to the competitiveness and future of the industry. It is no coincidence that most of the industrial sectors have spoken out against him. It has been said that the Electricity System Fund is a nail in the coffin of the industry ”.
“Demonization of fossil fuels”
During his speech, the President of Repsol also charged the Government for “The demonization of fossil fuels”. He explained that “it seems that it is about seducing citizens – increasingly concerned about the effects of climate change – with colorful statements that generate good headlines, but do not necessarily lead to good policies. It is an easy narrative that creates the false impression of a solution, instead of providing stable frameworks that allow an effective fight against climate change without harming the competitiveness of the industry, intensive, in many cases, in energy consumption.
«Let’s say clearly that without liquid fuels, airplanes will not be able to fly, and that the decarbonisation of some very energy-intensive sectors such as cement and steel, which accounts for 31% of global emissions, or of agriculture and livestock, with 19% of emissions, requires technological solutions and complementary strategies to electrification. Also ignoring the criterion of international reference institutions that CO2 capture and storage must necessarily be part of the solution is simply cheat us in solitaire».
Confusing decarbonization with electrification is not safe. It is a mistake, often self-serving, that gives the wrong signals and can condemn us to failure.
Brufau has highlighted that «The current text of the law prioritizes, without any environmental reason, electricity over other renewable alternatives. Thus, it intends to prohibit all vehicles that emit any molecule from the exhaust pipe, regardless of whether it has a renewable origin or not. Imposing the principle of direct zero emissions on vehicles, without also paying attention to the emissions that have been relocated throughout their manufacturing process and in the electricity generation itself, is a serious error, a torpedo on the waterline of the The very essence of the circular economy and the ambition to have in Europe, through long-term policies, a refining industry with standards of best sustainability practices worldwide ”.