Presentation of the law manual for engineers and dialogue on "The energy market"

18 APR 2023

Mario Ruiz-Tagle, CEO of Iberdrola in Spain: "40% of European PPAs were signed in Spain and these mechanisms must be protected against retroactive changes"

  • Mario Ruiz-Tagle pointed out that the reform of the electricity market proposed by Europe is going in the right direction by aiming to maintain price signals, promote PPAs or shield the common European market.

    For Iberdrola's CEO in Spain, the European Union should take note of the Inflation Reduction Act and activate transformational projects and agile and standardised incentives to encourage the European renewable industry

Mario Ruiz-Tagle, CEO of Iberdrola Spain; Carmen Becerril, President of OMEL; and Juanjo Lavilla, Director of the Energy Law Observatory of ICADE.

Mario Ruiz-Tagle, CEO of Iberdrola in Spain, analysed the challenges facing the electricity sector in Spain and the regulatory changes that must be promoted to accelerate the energy transition Enlace externo, se abre en ventana nueva. and guarantee stable legal certainty in a colloquium during the presentation of the new Law Manual for Engineers prepared by the National Association/College of Engineers of the ICAI and Iberdrola.

Iberdrola's CEO has maintained a cautious view on the prognosis of the electricity market reform under debate in Europe in recent months. For Mario Ruiz-Tagle, the Commission's proposal is moving in the right direction by aiming to maintain price signals, promote PPAs and protect the common European market, but he stressed the importance of waiting to see how the process develops.

On the reform aspects, the Iberdrola executive emphasised the need to preserve a stable, predictable and transparent regulatory framework, which helps to give the right signals to facilitate investment. "Let us hope that the interventionist proposals made by several Member States do not prosper and that a vision that allows us to build more Europe prevails. It is worth recalling that many actors in the sector have already highlighted the risk of other interventionist options, far removed from the market solutions that we already know have brought great results for the development of the European Union in recent decades".

On the issue of PPAs, Mario Ruiz-Tagle recalled that Spain plays an important role as a European leader in the signing of these agreements. "In 2022, 40% of the PPAs for renewables in the European Union were signed in Spain. When an industry decides to come to Spain to invest, to set up its factory, etc., it does so because here it can offer a fixed, long-term price". In addition, the Iberdrola executive warned about the current situation of lack of protection for PPAs in the face of retroactive changes such as the cap on gas, sales price limits or the introduction of new taxes, which affect the industrialist's confidence in the fixed price established.

During the colloquium, Mario Ruiz-Tagle also reflected on the key role played by distribution gridsEnlace externo, se abre en ventana nueva.  in the energy transition and the situation of abandonment in which they find themselves, at a vital moment in which the intention to decarbonise industry and the development of data centres coincide. Both aspects require a large grid capacity, and the planning carried out must take this situation into account. "Grid planning has focused on connecting renewables, but it must continue to make progress in connecting customers who decarbonise their demand. Grids are the backbone of the energy transition and their capacity must continue to be expanded".