Spain Investors Day: Spain seeks to engage investors in its clean energy plans |  Economy

Spain Investors Day: Spain seeks to engage investors in its clean energy plans | Economy

The third vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, insisted this Wednesday during the 13th edition of Spain Investors Day on the need to offer investors in clean energy a predictable regulatory framework, price stability and adequate returns. In his speech before representatives of 47 listed companies, Ribera highlighted “Spain’s unique position”, thanks to a green transition strategy devised before the Russian invasion of Ukraine altered the energy market and accelerated the search for alternative sources to the fossil fuels.

The minister referred to the important role that Spain seeks to play in the production of green hydrogen. He pointed out that around 8,900 million euros will be invested in Spain until 2030 to promote it, and it is already the second country in the world with the most projects related to this technology, 20% of the total, only behind the United States (51%). . “Renewable hydrogen will be key to completing the decarbonisation of our economy,” she noted, citing the H2Med green hydrogen corridor between Barcelona and Marseille as a milestone.

Ribera stated that the significant deployment of renewables in Spain places it ahead of other European countries. And he highlighted the efforts of the Government to alleviate the escalation of natural gas and its impact on electricity rates, with measures such as the Iberian mechanism, which the Executive expects to be extended until the end of 2024. In addition, he recalled that Spain is becoming more attractive by being the country with the lowest inflation rate in the EU (5.8%), but believes that “structural reforms” are needed to tackle it, and not just temporary solutions such as tax rebates and reductions implemented by the Government.

In a message to those who are willing to risk capital in Spain, he urged them to look in the long term. “Responsible and patient investors are required to look beyond short-term profit maximization,” she stressed.

The minister called for protecting the single European market from imbalances that can cause the suspension of State aid rules, by benefiting “those with bigger pockets and more fiscal space”, which can engender “undesired effects”, by distorting the greater or lesser public support competition between companies.

Risks and opportunities

The round tables that followed Ribera’s intervention addressed some of the strengths and weaknesses of the Spanish economy. The director of the Economic Situation of Funcas, Raymond Torres, justified his “relative optimism” that for the first time in the history of Spain employment has resisted during a crisis, and the risk premium has remained at bay despite the rate hikes of interest. In addition, he placed Spain among the winners of the green transition due to its potential in renewable energy, and predicted that it can benefit from the reorganization of global value chains.

Ricardo Martínez, CEO of Equipo Económico described the growth of the Spanish economy last year as “impressive”, and stressed the good performance of exports and the strong deleveraging of the private sector, although he warned that the biggest challenge is the increase in public debt.

Among the risks, Ana Aguilar, chief economist at Deloitte Spain, cited factors such as geopolitical risks, the evolution of Asia or more persistent inflation than expected. To which Frédéric Pretet, chief economist of the BNP Paribas bank, added the escalation of interest rates or how the Chinese reopening and OPEC movements will impact energy prices.


The pandemic has not put an end to the idea of ​​globalization, but it has qualified it by revealing Western dependence on basic products, including pharmaceuticals. This shortening of the supply chains that Europe is looking for in strategic sectors could be an opportunity, says Juan López-Belmonte, president of Rovi laboratories. “I’m not talking about stopping globalization or self-sufficiency, but there has to be a tremendous change, and Spain can become a pharmaceutical production hub for Europe.”

José Bogas, CEO of Endesa, quoted a phrase from the Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna to refer to the opportunities offered by turbulent times. “You can’t overtake 15 cars when it’s sunny… but you can when it’s raining,” he said. The manager turned to the Government to ask him to park the ideology in the debate on the future price system. And he demanded more bureaucratic agility from the authorities to deploy renewables and the electric car. “We want to cover the Spanish geography of recharging points, but it is very difficult to obtain permits,” he lamented.

Francisco Riberas, executive president of the automotive components manufacturer Gestamp, also perceives a similar problem with the PERTE of the electric car. “The amount of money is very positive, but we are not being able to use it all due to procedural problems. The funds for ministries like industry are huge and it’s not easy,” he admitted. Riberas explained that the sector adds to the global problems its own crisis due to the lack of semiconductors, problems in supply chains and the transition to electric cars.

María Peña, CEO of ICEX, maintained that Spain has an advantage due to the size of its market —in which it also includes its geographical position as a link to Europe and North Africa—, the available talent, the business climate and the infrastructures of transport, communication and energy.

Ignacio Mataix, CEO of Indra, dedicated above all to two business areas, Defense and mobility on the one hand, and digitization on the other, recognized that the war in Ukraine represents a challenge for the industry and an opportunity to develop new technologies, because the States seek to approach the 2% of GDP spending on Defense that NATO requires. And he referred to two big challenges: how to attract talent and retain it, and the problems in supply chains.

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