The Chairman of Red Eléctrica, Jordi Sevilla, has described the energy transition as an "exceptional period" and has called for "exceptional measures" to facilitate the massive integration of renewables required by the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan, recently approved by the Council of Ministers and sent to the European Commission for approval. Among other things, Mr Sevilla has asked to "reduce the duration of the transmission grid development planning process, decrease the duration of the permitting process for grid facilities and complete the modification of the regulation that governs grid access and connection." The Chairman of Red Eléctrica made these statements during the Meeting entitled +Renewables: Smart grids and digitalisation for the energy of the future, in which the report entitled Red Eléctrica and the Integration of Renewables was presented; a comprehensive catalogue of necessary measures to be able to successfully complete the energy transition.
Mr Sevilla confirmed that "the future is electric" and indicated that the new distributed generation model requires "regulatory changes that will enable the transformation of the current TSO role." Insisting on the need to delve into the regulatory changes, he stressed that "it would be convenient to match the decommissioning of thermal generating power stations with the availability of a sufficient capacity margin, guarantee the system operator’s current capacity of supervision and control, and establish adequate incentives to modernise the current transmission and distribution grids and provide them with greater intelligence".
In addition, for Mr Sevilla, it is necessary to "continue moving forward with international interconnections until the target of 15% in 2030 has been reached, promote the development of energy storage projects to provide flexibility and security of supply and take advantage of what artificial intelligence offers in order to make operation of the system safer and more secure. In addition, we must not only invest in more kilometres of line within the grid, but in making it smarter and more flexible”.
The Chairman concluded his speech making an appeal to all the actors involved in the energy transition. He reminded everyone that "this is an issue that concerns us all" and asked for a collective effort "to make it possible". Lastly, he insisted on the commitment of this Company to the transition. "If the incorporation of renewable generation depended solely on Red Eléctrica, this would be a complete success. But there are many more agents involved. It is everyone's job to make it possible".
In short, the electricity sector is set to become a key player in the energy transition, which will entail a series of challenges that will be driven mainly by two factors: the decarbonisation of electricity generation and the new ways of consumption that a more electricity focussed will demand. On the other hand, these challenges will have to be managed in a rapidly evolving technological environment that will open up new options for agents and that will lead to the digital transformation of the sector.
Therefore, Red Eléctrica, will mobilise the resources needed and make the necessary investment, 3,221 million euros until 2022, to carry out the internal transformation that will facilitate the Energy Transition. "We are already seeing an electricity system that is very different from the one we knew. A new system, in which the TSO is a key element. It is necessary that Red Eléctrica be transformed in parallel and at the same speed at which the entire new renewable generation is being integrated, in order to make this change possible".