"The energy transition demands that we start working now and for this reason it is essential that we have, as soon as possible, a new Electricity Transmission Grid Planning for the next regulatory period 2020-2025". This was stated by the Chairman of the Red Eléctrica Group, Jordi Sevilla, during a round-table session organised by the Foundation Rafael del Pino on the challenges regarding this energy transition. María Fernández Pérez, Vice President of the National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC) and Jorge Sanz, Associate Director of Nera Economic Consulting and also chair of the latest Committee of experts on scenarios regarding the energy transition, also participated in this meeting.
For the Chairman of Red Eléctrica, planning is a key topic. "Mobilising all the necessary public and private efforts, within a limited time period, like the one we find ourselves in, and for which a huge investment is necessary, requires that we all must agree and act quickly," he says.
In this context, the CNMC will be a key player, even more so now, taking into account its newly acquired competences. According to its Vice-President, "the CNMC will play an essential role when it comes to assessing the cost-benefit of infrastructures". For his part, Jorge Sanz, has valued the new reality of the CNMC very positively. "Now they are regulators in every sense of the word. This measure will help to make decisions based on technical criteria, directly generating greater well-being for citizens".
The energy transition seeks to reach a set of European-level targets that respond to the need to move towards a more efficient and sustainable energy model and that contribute to the fight against climate change. In this regard and following the presentation a few days ago of the National Energy and Climate Plan, Jorge Sanz and Jordi Sevilla, coincide in the ambitious nature of the objectives the government proposes and aspires to achieve.
According to Jordi Sevilla, "for the first time ever we are considering specific measures to tackle the fight in favour of decarbonisation. It's great that we have finally overcome the debate about whether or not we should do it"; and adds that "The climate change objectives must be country objectives because the cost of not tackling it is much higher than dealing with it".
Furthermore, María Fernández, commented that the Plan "which was clearly defined as a European country, requires modifications in the operating procedures, in the uses and habits of the consumers and, above all, that we take action". Modifications that, for the Chairman of Red Eléctrica, necessarily require that the permitting processes be more agile: "If we are in an exceptional period of transformation, we must do something to, at least, reduce by half the time that the permitting processes for the development of critical infrastructures currently require".
The role of technology is something that everyone has also agreed on. According to Jorge Sanz, "an important part of decarbonisation will come hand in hand with technological change", highlighting its capacity to generate growth.