A Strategy for Energy in Spain

08/03/2011

http://assets.fundacionfaes.org/Fotos+desarrollo+home/2011/03/propuestasenergia_d.jpg Jos? Mar?a Aznar: "Political action need not be a contest of bizarre ideas. It should actually never be such a thing, and it is particularly harmful when it concerns an area in which Spain is so dependent, as energy." "This work offers, as its title indicates, proposals for a national strategy for energy. These suggestions arise from two essential but postponed premises: We need an energy strategy because energy demands a long term vision and is clearly linked with international relations, with companies' competitiveness, with industry development and with the environment. And that strategy will only make sense if it is national, if it comprehends the whole of Spain as what it is: a great nation." "The strategic importance of energy today is a highly topical subject also as a result of the revolts against autocracies and in favour of liberty that we are witnessing in an increasing number of countries in the North of Africa and the Middle East. We must therefore not forget that our duty is to support those countries' democrats in order for democracy and liberty to prevail. This is not only a moral imperative, but is also in our political and economic interest and as a guarantee for stability." "Italy and Spain are the two European countries most dependant on outside nations regarding primary energy supplies. Decreasing that high energy dependency should be a strategic priority in any future energy policy. Because the security of energy supplies, its continuity and the diversity of sources are an unavoidable and primary objective for the prosperity of the Spanish society." "All energy sources should be used and it is obvious that renewable energies play their role in the generation of electricity. This is what we had in mind when we gave the initial boost to the entry of renewable energy in Spain. The problem is that national objectives have been exceeded over ten times due to the absence of national controls. The discredit of renewables today is the result of the free-for-all policy oblivious of economic rationality that was implemented." Manuel Pizarro: "Any coexistence anchorage sought to be made in Europe has to necessarily involve something that is clearly said in the report; energy is a lever for the future, an element for competition, and an element for competitiveness for any society." "If you analyse open societies you will see that societies that believe in freedom have very few rules that are very clear and equally applicable to all. Interventionist societies - enemies of open societies - seek a proliferation of rules, a lot of intervention by public powers, to create as many monopolists as there are recipients of rules and, in that monopoly, give predominance to friends and punish enemies. These are the two ways to run a society. One leads to prosperity, election, liberty, and the other leads to rationing, inequality and in the end, many times, to corruption." "Competitive prices are needed for energy. And a competitive price is achieved by taking away from the bill anything that is not related to electricity. We are still paying the valuation for the nationalisation of two nuclear power stations and we are seeing crossed subsidies on the bill, where there are true parafiscal levying cases - because the bill can bear it all - that compensate or subsidize things that have nothing to do with energy. That has to be cleaned so legislators can, with the income statements of the Budget, see which incomes are to be demanded from citizens and, in the expenditure part, see what we want to subsidize and how much. Without subsidies for renewables the system is balanced. We are subsidising this sector with 6 billions, and that is six times the Ministry of Justice. And it makes no sense that this isn't passed through the General Courts but directly through the bill instead, which is a course of action lying in shadows that no one can control." "A quality country, such as Spain, cannot suffer power cuts. And not having power cuts demands having a transport, mains that work. It takes ten years to build a distribution network in Spain. There's no way a country can work this way. Therefore, we either have a meshed network that works, connected to France and the rest of countries, or it is obvious that this won't work." "Energy is not an element that delays, causes power cuts or prohibitions, but rather it is an element that offers and a lever for the future which is precisely want we want. Everyone must be called to the table for this. A sector where returns on investments take 20 or 30 years has to take into account that it is going to suffer or enjoy (depending on your opinion) several governments of different sign and therefore, this will have to be agreed on. And it has to be agreed on because things that are agreed on in the end go much further and go much better. And I think the agreement will have to made with a document like this one as its basis." Pedro Mielgo: "Forty years have gone by since the first oil crisis, at that moment the world saw that energy was not an abundant and cheap resource anymore. Today, we are experiencing again what another energy crisis could mean in a world even more dependant that it was then. In these four decades, energy has increased its importance and it is currently the daily focus of articles, interviews, opinions and reports. And inevitably, it is also a matter of concern for governments and for political actions more broad and elaborate as time goes by. Energy planning has not been absent in Spain. However, energy debate has been conspicuous by its absence for decades. The little that has actually been debated has been conditioned by ideological stances instead of by rationality and analyses of facts and really available options. As a result of this, there hasn't been a really national strategy for energy." "With regard to legal security, administrative efficiency and supervisory excellence in the energy sector it is necessary to clarify capacities, specifically with regard to the creation of taxes or fees and energy planning, ensuring that the allocation of responsibilities with the Autonomous regions generates more efficiency and less costs." "We must ensure the independence and capacity of members of the National Energy Commission and Nuclear Safety Council to enable them to meet the new challenges they will face in the near future. Also initiate a process of performance review and evaluation of the National Energy Commission and start the drafting of proposals for its improvement and improve the consultation process to discuss new rules giving them greater transparency and rigor." "To improve energy efficiency we should encourage technological development in areas of national interest that show potential for business development and which aim to help reduce energy dependency and improving saving and efficiency. It would also be interesting to provide a flexible and transparent administrative framework that allows the exploration of oil and gas resources potentially available in the Spanish territory and waters like those near the Canary Islands." "We must undertake studies of energy and technological long-term prospective, secure diplomatic support for the Spanish energy companies working abroad, and carry out all diplomatic actions or of any nature with countries supplying primary energy to our country that are necessary. The combination of these options can help mitigate the consequences of our dependence." Fernando Navarrete: "The report that we are launching today is not just a diagnosis but sets forward specific proposals to address energy issues of broad economic and strategic significance for the future of our country. It has three main objectives in its frontispiece: security of supply, protection of the environment and of competitiveness and economic growth." "The list of outstanding issues in Spain in the energy sector is abundant and increasingly well known: energy policy is erratic, interventionist and lacking a long-term strategic approach; legal uncertainty due to an arbitrary policy; lack of independence and interference in regulatory agencies; untapped geographical position and low interconnection capacity with France; lack of national vision when carrying out energy responsibilities by the Autonomous regions and local authorities; market distortions that send wrong signals for investment and consumption; disorder and lawlessness in supporting renewable energy; high dependence on foreign energy; and what could even be called a technological ideology". "The report _Propuestas para una estrategia energ?tica nacional?_ launches to the public debate 35 clear and distinct proposals in five major areas: 1) more efficient and competitive markets, 2) sustainable and cheap electricity, 3) legal security and supervisory excellence, 4) reducing energy dependence and promoting R & D, and 5) strategic and international vision." "This report sets forth an energy policy based on a clear strategy consistent with our objectives as a country, with a clear international scope, and based on competitive markets, with effective supervision and of excellence." Remarks by Jos? Mar?a Aznar (in Spanish) (https://www.fundacionfaes.org/record_file/filename/3012/2011_03_08_PRESENTACION_INFORME_ENERGIA_JOSE_MARIA_AZNAR__1_.pdf)