13 APR 2023

Ruíz-Tagle, CEO of Iberdrola Spain: "Renewables are already the way of the present and the future"

Mario Ruíz-Tagle durante la presentación de la jornada "Las energías renovables: Un futuro sostenible" 

The Association of Environmental Information Journalists (APIA) and Iberdrola inaugurated this morning the conference "Renewable energies: A sustainable future" in the Q-BO building in Valladolid, which debated the near future of clean energies in Spain and brought professionals, journalists, engineers, developers, environmentalists, conservationists, university students, .... closer to the reality of the use of green energies in all social and economic sectors. 

From 09.30h to 14h, different experts from the broadest sectors of the business and associative fabric have had the opportunity to put forward proposals and debate with the attendees, the different aspects of these energies. 

This conference took place within the current framework of the energy transition in our country, seeking to educate and inform about the development of renewable energies and having the opportunity to learn about some of the most innovative projects that are being worked on. The question was addressed of how to make possible the implementation of renewable energies with the conservation of biodiversity, an aspect that is of extraordinary importance to combat greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

At the opening ceremony, the vice-president of the Provincial Council of Valladolid, Víctor Alonso, commented that "we must all work together, companies, administrations and communicators in renewable energies because they are cheaper; healthier because with them we invest in health, we create employment and we are committed to sustainability".

For his part, the CEO of Iberdrola Spain, Mario Ruíz-Tagle, pointed out that "the climate and environmental crisis has led us all to create a model of electricity production completely different from the one we were used to". He insisted that in renewables "we have an enormous space in which to work with society in general and with the media in particular". There is a need to move forward in the energy transition and "we have the tools to do so. Spain has the opportunity to create the industry for the decarbonisation of energy and we will do it by working together," said the CEO of Iberdrola Spain.

Ruíz-Tagle stated that "we have energy, talent, financial capacity to obtain resources, contributing to research and development. We are also committed to sustainability, diversity and we are a company that brings local development to the territory". He commented that "we are the army of green ties, wherever we are seen we are already known and that is a source of pride, because the development of renewable energies is the present and the future". Finally, referring especially to the media, he explained that "it is in the hands of journalists to make society understand and in our hands to provide them with information and content".

For her part, the president of the Association of Environmental Information Journalists, APIA, María García de la Fuente, insisted that "we are living in a historic moment for which we will be remembered. A climate crisis that we have caused but that we can reverse". To do so, she said "we have three challenges ahead of us: social consensus, above all with the territories that are going to host the facilities". The second challenge would be "the conservation of biodiversity, because it is what takes care of us, provides health and nourishes us, and renewable energies are compatible with that biodiversity". The third challenge will be to address "what model of country we want for the coming years". To these three, the president of APIA added "the challenge of environmental journalists for whom we create conferences like this one in which we seek training and information because the role of environmental communicators, now more than ever, is fundamental".

To demonstrate the role of renewable energies in the decarbonisation External link, opens in new window. of the economy, the Director of Regulation and Markets of Iberdrola Renovables, José Luis Adanero, one of the leading experts at European level, commented that in view of the latest international events with gas supply "we have to electrify transport, building and industry with renewables, and in this way, we will reduce CO2 emissions and be more competitive and independent".

Green hydrogen, a source very much "on the lips" of companies and administrations, has been addressed by the secretary of the Spanish Hydrogen Association, Miguel A. Peña, with a documented intervention in which he commented that "Hydrogen is a key energy vector for the decarbonisation of the Spanish economy, which will make it possible to achieve climate neutrality in 2050. It also makes possible to reactivate, redefine and transform the national economy, through the creation of technological and productive industrial fabric, and the generation of highly qualified employment".

Bearing in mind throughout the day that the transition in which we find ourselves has to be compatible with biodiversity, the SEO BirdLife's Director of Organisation, Miguel López, called for "renewables to also be responsible" and said that "the energy transition is certainly urgent but it must be exemplary in terms of time and form". Lopez closed by calling for "renewables to become allies of biodiversity".

For his part, the partner of the environmental consultancy GEOCYL, Pablo Rodríguez, analysed compliance with the "green" parameters, insisting that it is clear that "we were doing it wrong with fossil fuels". He mentioned that the benefits of the energy transition are numerous and also social because they improve health, environmental awareness, proliferate green jobs and boost energy efficiency, among others. He believes that renewable energies are very important because they are the essential partner against climate change.

During the colloquium, moderated by the environmental journalist Eva González, the current energy transition was analysed in terms of where we have come from and where we are going. According to the head of Analysis and Special Projects at Iberdrola, Marta Martínez, "we have to find spaces for dialogue in which to seek solutions, integrating renewables into the territory and, of course, taking biodiversity into account".

Juan Virgilio Márquez, general manager of the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE), commented that "we are seeing a greater acceleration, a greater density of projects with which we must reach society and citizens. We know how to do this, but we must achieve it with a social sensitivity that can respond to the social opposition that is also emerging".

The general manager of the Spanish Photovoltaic Union, José Donoso, commented that "we all have to play our role and know where we stand, because we are not playing games. It is not about exporting energy but about reindustrialisation, maintaining population and changing history".

In this intense and formative colloquium, the secretary general of APECYL, Eugenio García Tejerina, said that in Castilla y León, after 25 years, "we are the fourth part of the national wind power, we enjoy a great media prominence thanks to the regulatory and legal stability and the knowledge of renewable energy. That is why we must finish well what we have done well".

The conference was closed by Iberdrola's institutional delegate in Castilla y León, Miguel Calvo, who highlighted "the opportunity we have as a country to be an energy benchmark, on the basis of consensus, complying with regulations, being positive and keeping in touch with reality, so that society is aware of it". He closed the day by saying that "there are ways to coexist while protecting the interests of all".

During the closing ceremony, the vice-president of the Association of Environmental Information Journalists, Javier Valenzuela, from Valladolid, insisted that we need time and, above all, training because "we all" need training.

To close the day, the attendees began a training visit to the Peñaflor wind farm complex, External link, opens in new window. owned by Iberdrola, located between the municipalities of Peñaflor de Hornija, La Mudarra and Castromonte, one of the largest in Spain.