The chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, has recalled the need to have an environment of legal stability and dialogue with the Government to make the necessary investments to achieve energy transition and sovereignty. His words come a few days after Pedro Sánchez announced a new tax for banking and confirmed that of electricity companies during the debate on the state of the nation.
As detailed by the manager, “stable regulations that promote legal certainty” are essential. Galán made these statements during the inauguration of the Tâmega gigabattery, a hydroelectric complex in northern Portugal capable of storing the energy consumed by 11 million people a day in their homes. Developing this type of infrastructure, he pointed out, requires “initiative and collaboration of the administrations”. He also thanked that in Portugal they found “clear planning and predictable regulation”, which favors “bringing the necessary capital to develop large projects”.
Thus, the president of Iberdrola celebrated having found this predisposition to work in the Portuguese Government, with whom they have maintained a close relationship since the project began in 2014. In this sense, he also asked for “agility in the procedures in which it is most necessary “. Iberdrola has plans to increase considerably – they will reach up to 3,000 million euros in the coming years – investments in renewables in the country.
This battery is actually a system of dams in which the water is stored in one of them and can be dropped towards some turbines when the system is stressed and requires an immediate energy supply. When releasing the water, it is capable of producing 1,158 megawatts, according to company data. Later, at times when there is an excess of renewable energy production, this electricity can be used in pumps that allow the water to travel in the opposite direction and become a kind of hydraulic battery.
During the event he was accompanied by the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, who also warned of the need to “streamline the regulatory framework” in the new European energy reality, which wants to break away from Russian fuels on which it still depends excessively -except , precisely, exceptions such as Spain and Portugal. “The system is not sustainable and generates a high dependency on the outside,” added Galán, who lamented that this “increases instability” when Europe faces an “energy challenge.”
The Executive expects to raise between 1,500 and 2,000 million with a tax on electricity and oil companies that, according to these companies, seems improvised and at the moment generates more doubts than certainties, in addition to reaching a sector that is already hyper-supervised. Sedigas, the employers’ association that groups Naturgy or Enagás, criticized at the end of last week that “with the information available, it is impossible to understand the operation and impact of the tax proposed by the Government.” “It is unknown what is meant by benefits and extraordinary, what calculation is going to be used, what is going to be the tax base of this new tax, what type of tax,” denounces the organization.
Costa, for his part, also took advantage of the event to send a message to a Europe that, as the war in Ukraine has shown, is less prepared for the energy transition than Spain and Portugal. In this context, and shortly before the European Commission announces its contingency plan for a winter in which there is concern that there will be no gas, it has assured that they will show solidarity. However, this solidarity should not be confused with a willingness to pay for investments that should have already arrived.
“If today we have this renewable energy production capacity, it is because families and companies paid 17,000 million euros of extraordinary financing,” explained the prime minister. “It was worth it, but we did it at our expense,” he recalled before warning that “solidarity also means that we are not going to make the Portuguese pay additional costs” to compensate for the backwardness of other countries.
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