The current crisis can be a historic turning point towards a more balanced, cleaner, and more secure energy system24.03.2023
The Chairman of Repsol, Antonio Brufau, stated that “we have forgotten about the energy trilemma and have put all the regulatory emphasis on the sustainability of energy, and we have undoubtedly forgot about what supply security means”.
For the Chairman of the multi-energy company, the priority is ensuring the energy supply, which in no case would mean ignoring climate change, but doing so by establishing priority, pragmatic, and intelligent paths. “We are amidst a global and vitally significant challenge”.
He added that the world needs “more energy to grow”, it needs “all kinds of energies”, it needs “more clean energies”, “it needs greater supply security”, “it needs more technology and to rely on all [available, competitive, and scalable] technologies” while others are being developed that are still in an early stage, and it also needs more investment, the Chairman of Repsol stated.
Brufau highlighted some aspects of lack of vision and capacity to execute in European policies that are leading to a progressive lack of competitiveness of our economy and to the displacement of industry and employment to other, much less restrictive regions. As a conclusion, he compared the “prohibition” mechanism, very typical of European legislation, with the system of “motivation and incentives” of American policy by referring to the “Inflation Reduction Act” (I.R.A.).
According to the professor from the University of Barcelona, Mariano Marzo, we must dismiss “deceptive errors and ideas” about the energy crisis. We aren’t amidst a crisis of “clean” energies; The current crisis doesn't represent a serious setback in the efforts against climate change. In any case, the quick transitions will ultimately depend on investment and we will have to pay greater attention so that they are affordable, secure, and built on resilient supply chains.
The Repsol Foundation and Funseam organized the conference “World Energy Outlook 2022: Analysis and perspectives” in which the main conclusions derived from the different scenarios of decarbonization and their effects on society as a whole were presented. The conference was attended by the Chairman of Repsol, Antonio Brufau, professor from the University of Barcelona, Mariano Marzo, and relevant experts in the energy sector.
In his closing intervention, Antonio Brufau stated that “it is urgent to rethink energy polices in Europe and Spain. These must be sustainable, but in turn we have to base them on the industrial capacities and technologies that we have. We must be able to point out the country's strategic interests, to decarbonize, but to decarbonize with technology and with common sense, and not to decarbonize with ideology. We need certainty”, he highlighted.
The chairman of Repsol also stated that without a balance between supply security, affordable prices, and sustainability, there will be no economic competitiveness, there will be no stable employment in our country, and consequently, there will be no social well-being either.
In his intervention, Mariano Marzo analyzed the annual report, “World Energy Outlook 2022 - WEO”, written by the International Energy Agency, which provides a global view of the implications that the Russia invasion has meant for energy systems around the world. The professor explained how the global energy crisis is influencing the transition to clean energies and the objective of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
In the words of Marzo, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused a global energy criss, but this promises to be a historic turning point towards a cleaner and more secure energy system. According to the expert, the policy responses to the crisis are accelerating the appearance of a “clean” energy economy; current energy policy frameworks provide a glimpse of the peak demand for fossil fuels.
During his intervention, he stated that some sectors are prepared for a quicker transformation driven by low-emission power. Efficiency and “clean” fuels are also experiencing a competitive boost, and ultimately, the quick transitions will depend on investment and we will have to pay greater attention so that transitions are affordable, secure, and built on resilient supply chains.
The session ended with the roundtable “Impact and perspectives” discussion, in which leading experts from the sector debated on how the current energy context is affecting the economic context and competitiveness and the implications that it has for the new energy challenges. They highlighted the importance of the energy policies adopted for supply security and whether they translate into affordable energy costs for companies and families.
Director of Repsol's Department of Research, Pedro Antonio Merino; Senior Fellow at EsadeGeo Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics (EsadeGeo),Juan Moscoso; manager of the Renewable Energy Division of CIEMAT, Nieves Vela; Director of the Energy and Climate Program at the Elcano Royal Institute, Gonzalo Escribano; and Director of Economic Situation at Funcas, Raymond Torres, also took part in the conference.
The conference provided an opportunity to participate in a debate at a time when the world is in the middle of a major global energy crisis, triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.