Energy transition in Latin America after Covid-19

Several representatives of Spanish energy companies participated in a talk, organised by Casa América, to analyse the future of the energy transition in Latin America after the impact of coronavirus. This event is part of the cycle of conferences organised by the Repsol Foundation.

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Ángel Bautista, director of Repsol's Institutional Relations; José Ignacio Escobar, executive managing director of Energy at Acciona for Latin America; Marta Martínez, from the department of Energy Policies and Climate Change at Iberdrola, and María Higueras, director of Strategy at Naturgy, participated in a digital conference, led by Arturo Larena, director of EFEverde, to exchange ideas on the challenges of the energy transition in a new, greener, economic, and productive space after Covid-19.

One of the points that everyone highlighted is Latin America's potential for developing initiatives that allow for progress in the decarbonisation process, especially through implementing renewable energy, given the wealth of natural resources in the region. 

Another issue that the speakers also highlighted was the need for a stable regulatory framework that guarantees long-term investments. As María Higueras pointed out, ""investments in the energy sector require guarantees, and at the same time to allow for countries to receive greater industrialisation and quality jobs, which will generate greater social development"".

In line with that, Marta Martínez added that “energy and development go hand in hand. If you take energy to a very isolated area, it will help, for example, improve sanitation, or provide schools with electricity”. For the speakers, the energy transition cannot be carried out ignoring the social side.

In this way, Jose Ignacio Escobar mentioned how the economic crisis has revealed the need for the company and the state to collaborate ""with limited economic resources, to generate opportunities to get out of this situation"".

In addition, the speakers highlighted their commitments to the Paris Agreement and decarbonisation targets. In this sense, Ángel Bautista reminded attendees that Repsol is the first company in its sector in the world to declare its commitment to zero net emissions by 2050, highlighting that ""the energy sector must be sustainable or it will not survive"".  He also indicated that Latin America is one of the areas of natural growth for the development of the renewable electricity generation business, which the Company is already working on in Spain and Portugal.

Finally, another of the keys that was addressed at the conference was the role of innovation and technology in the energy transition. In this sense, Ángel Bautista is committed to technological neutrality. ""To tackle such a colossal challenge, we must allow all technologies to develop, because innovation is necessary and any technology that allows us to avoid emitting even a gram of CO₂ is a success"".

This event is set in the Repsol Foundation's cycle of conferences to promote knowledge and rigorous debate surrounding the challenges of the future of energy.