IGNACIO GALÁN UPHOLDS IN CANNES THE ROLE OF THE ENERGY SECTOR AS A SOLUTION TO THE ECONOMIC CRISIS
During his address to the ‘B-20 Business Summit’ round table on energy within the framework of G-20 summit,
- The Chairman of IBERDROLA is asking for clear and objective energy policies and a stable and predictable regulatory framework for an industry that accounts for 5% of European GDP.
- Galán warns of the risk that the massive bet on undeveloped power generation technologies could pose to economic recovery.
During his speech at the round table on energy which was held in Cannes as part of the B-20 Business Summit, within the framework of the G-20 summit, the Chairman of IBERDROLA, Ignacio Galán, said that the energy sector, which directly employs 750,000 people in Europe, should be looked upon as a solution to the current economic crisis.
Mr Galán stated that the electricity industry, that invests about €50,000 million a year and represents 5% of European GDP, has the potential to act as a motor to boost the economy.
Furthermore, the Chairman of IBERDROLA stressed the need for clear and objective energy policies and stable and predictable regulatory frameworks. “Governments (both European and non-European) are continually changing their energy policies, which could jeopardise the sector's ability to contribute to economic recovery".
Mr Galán referred to a recent Citigroup report which estimated that energy companies had lost around €200 million in value as a result of governmental interventionist policies since January 2010.
With respect to emission reduction commitments, the IBERDROLA Chairman reiterated his commitment to mature renewable energies, such as onshore and offshore wind farms, and warned of the risks of large-scale roll outs of power generation technologies that are at the start of their learning curve, like solar power. Doing this, Galán claimed, “could jeopardise the financial balance of the power system”.
During his speech, the Chairman of IBERDROLA explained that the PV roll out had been too fast and too expensive in many countries. “We face the risk that this bubble - as it has been defined by the European Council of Regulators- will be repeated with thermal solar energy, a technology that is today still more expensive than PV and which could become a financial product".
Mr Galán said that the commitment to these technologies would mean higher costs both to industry and consumers, as well as a loss in competitiveness and employment. “In the current environment, this could be extremely dangerous for economic recovery”, he concluded.