THE UNIVERSITY OF SALAMANCA AWARDS IGNACIO GALAN AN HONORARY DOCTORATE
He received the distinction from the oldest University in the Hispanic world and one of Europe’s oldest and most important, which in 2018 will celebrate its 800th anniversary
This prestigious distinction reflects the contribution of Iberdrola’s Chairman to research and innovation, whilst recognizing his strategic vision and foresight throughout his professional career
The Vice-Chancellor of Salamanca University defines Galan as "one of the country´s most important executives" and in his welcome speech to the new Doctor, made a strong defense of the University’s role in promoting training and research to overcome the economic crisis
Ignacio Galan outlined the main points of his proposal for an energy model for 2020 as an alternative to official plans. The model is cheaper (-20%), requires less investments (-20%), is more sustainable (-20% emissions) and creates stable employment
The doctorate was conferred today by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Daniel Hernandez Ruiperez, at a ceremony conducted in Latin, according to an old ceremonial tradition
Today, the University of Salamanca awarded Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galan an Honorary Doctorate during a ceremony held in Latin at the auditorium of the Escuelas Mayores building, according to an old ceremonial tradition.
This important accolade conferred by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Daniel Hernandez Ruiperez, reflects Ignacio Galan’s contribution to research and innovation. It also recognizes the foresight of his strategic vision throughout a successful professional career in leading companies from advanced technology sectors. Galan’s contribution has decisively reshaped the profile of the companies where he has managed, fostering transformations which have made them larger, more efficient, more profitable and more international. Of this, Iberdrola is the best example.
In his speech, Galan pointed out that "it is my great honor to receive the highest academic distinction from the oldest university in the Hispanic world, which is also one of Europe’s oldest and most prominent, and that in 2018 will celebrate its 800th anniversary". He also expressed his gratitude to the University’s Senate of Doctors, to its Board of Governors, the Faculty of Economics and Business and to the Institute of Technology in Zamora.
Ignacio Galan also expressed his thanks "to my team of collaborators in Iberdrola and in the other companies where I’ve developed my professional career, to their boards of directors and management teams and to all their employees and trade union representatives, for their unfailing support and enlightening teachings."
This prestigious distinction has previously been awarded to important political personalities, such as Lula da Silva, Mario Soares, Jacques Delors and Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, and to figures from the world of culture such as Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Miguel Delibes, Fernando Lázaro Carreter, José Saramago and historian Miguel Artola.
“One of our nation’s most important executives”
Earlier, his mentor for the event, Dean of Economics, Alberto de Miguel, delivered a speech explaining the reasons why the PhD has been awarded, highlighting the support of Iberdrola’s Chairman to the promotion of R&D and training.
For his part, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salamanca, Daniel Hernandez Ruiperez, defined Ignacio Galan as "one of the country´s most important executives" and stressed his audacious drive of innovation and research, which have enabled Iberdrola become one of the world´s leading companies in the energy sector and one of the most notable companies in the sustainability field.
“Ignacio Galan represents, to this country´s economy, an example of hard work, perseverance, foresight and risk-taking that has decisively transformed Spanish energy companies”. In his view, the new Honorary Doctor “is continuing this task by implementing important social corporate responsibility measures, through a pioneering system that balances work and family life”.
In his welcome speech, Hernandez Ruiperez emphasized Ignacio Galan´s ability to take risks and face adversity through hard work, knowledge, intelligence, and a great deal of imagination. “A man innovates through his ideas and that is what our new colleague has done during his entire professional career. He has been able to come up with new methods for his company and has been bold and daring enough to carry them out”, he added.
The University of Salamanca will be celebrating its 800th anniversary in 2018, the oldest university in the Hispanic world. In this sense, the Vice-Chancellor made a strong defense of the University’s role in promoting training and research to overcome the current economic crisis. “There are no prospects for a society that forgets its universities. For our students to be able to write our future, in order to become tomorrow’s workers, researchers and entrepreneurs, universities must continue their efforts to provide them with the skills to adapt to a highly competitive labor market, to be the best”, he concluded.
The appointment of Ignacio Galan was approved by the Senate of Doctors, at a meeting held on 10th October, 2011, as proposed by the Faculty of Economics and the Institute of Technology of Zamora.
Ignacio Galan is a member of the Board of Trustees at the International Campus of Excellence Foundation Studii Salamantini, whose inaugural meeting was held last September 30 at the University of Salamanca. The Foundation aims to promote the development of the International Campus of Excellence (CEI) as a multidisciplinary and cross-border campus, with special attention to Spanish-Portuguese relations, focused on the promotion of the Spanish language, culture and values, as well as on the development and transfer of biosciences.
Towards a new sustainable energy model: five objectives
After reviewing the main energy challenges that Spain faces, the Chairman of Iberdrola dedicated his acceptance speech to describe the central themes of his proposal towards a secure, sustainable and competitive energy model, based on the following key objectives:
- security of supply, to ensure that energy demand is met;
- emissions reduction, of greenhouse gases, according to Spain’s climate change commitments;
- economic efficiency, both in terms of investments and costs, that improve the competitiveness of the economy;
- reduction of energy dependency, diminishing vulnerability in terms of price and geopolitical risks;
- ensuring a strong contribution to growth of the Spanish economy, since the energy model can and should have a positive impact on the trade balance, manufacturing and job creation.
Ignacio Galán highlighted the importance of the energy sector as an engine for the economy that can help overcome the crisis. In this respect, he recalled the words of Albert Einstein: “It's in crisis that inventive is born, as well as discoveries, and big strategies.”
After examining the current global and European environment, as well as Spain’s energy context and its regulatory framework, the Chairman of Iberdrola analysed the different generation technologies in terms of security of supply, competitiveness and environmental impact and presented his energy balance proposal for 2020.
An energy model that is cheaper, more sustainable, with less emissions and job creating
The balanced energy mix proposed by Ignacio Galan involves similar contributions from thermal (24%), wind (21%) and nuclear (18%) technologies; whilst large hydro would contribute 12%, biomass 5%, and the remainder would be covered mainly with cogeneration and biomass.
The proposed structure would mean a substantial improvement from the official energy planning for 2020. Not only from the environmental perspective – with 20% less emissions, nearly half the emissions in 1990 – but also from an economic standpoint. There would be 20% less costs and an equal reduction in investments –to €36 billion, a key factor in times of tight financial resources and that could benefit other sectors of Spanish economy.
Ignacio Galan declared that, in addition, several thousand stable jobs would be created with this plan, since the bulk of the investment would be delivered by the Spanish industry and technologies with a high component of local manufacturing.
The Chairman of Iberdrola has also estimated the need to invest over €19 billion on distribution networks, both to carry out recurrent investments as well as to develop smart grids; and nearly €11 billion for electricity transmission grids, interconnection lines with neighbouring countries and to incorporate new renewable energy capacity to the system.
Ignacio Galan concluded his proposal by calling for a review and where necessary specific action regarding regulatory issues, noting that more than half of today’s energy bill costs are not related to energy supply but rather to administrative decisions.
The Iberdrola Chairman emphasized that energy policy is a national priority and expressed the need for all political agents to cooperate in order to reach a broad consensus that provides stability and security for investments.
Finally, Ignacio Galán closed his address with a quote from Miguel de Unamuno: “We should look to be fathers of our future rather than sons of our past, and in any event, the nucleus of all that which is behind us in order to radiate what will be.”