The “Expansión 2023 Energy Meeting: Towards a new world energy map” meeting, organised by the Expansión newspaper, took place on February 24 at the Westin Palace Hotel in Madrid. The Third Vice President of the Government of Spain and Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, was in charge of the honorary opening of the meeting, where she pointed out that the final resolutions to the proposals associated with hydrogen-related projects will soon be known.
The Chief Executive Officer of Enagás, Arturo Gonzalo, participated in the round table discussion “A year of war in Ukraine and Europe facing the rest of the world” together with the Chairwoman of Redeia, Beatriz Corredor; the CEO of Iberdrola Spain, Mario Ruiz-Tagle; the Executive Managing Director of Energy Transition, Technology, Institutional Affairs and Deputy CEO of Repsol, Luis Cabra and the Chairman of TotalEnergies, Javier Sáenz de Jubera, which was moderated by the Editor-in-Chief of Expansión, Miguel Ángel Patiño. At the round table discussion, they analysed Europe’s important position vis-à-vis the rest of the world in the current and future energy context.
Arturo Gonzalo explained how, after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Europe developed an energy policy based on the deployment of renewable energies with the publication of REPowerEU by the European Commission as a starting point. He also highlighted how demanding Europe’s intention to replace Russian gas as quickly as possible is. “This is a colossal task, which requires a huge collaborative effort at European level,” he said.
With regard to Spain’s opportunity to contribute to Europe, the Chief Executive Officer of Enagás stressed the work being done to extend interconnections, and pointed out that Spain is “in a magnificent position with the current gas infrastructure network” and underground storage facilities at 84% of their capacity. He also pointed out that, for the future, “a more integrated European system is needed.” In this regard, he highlighted the goal of consuming 20 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030, which “requires large hydrogen transmission corridors and the first of which to take shape is H2Med, with the agreement of the countries and the support of the European Commission.”
To conclude his speech, and in relation to the six months of the European presidency, Arturo Gonzalo stressed the importance of updating the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), as well as the important role of the Net Zero industrial package to ensure Europe’s competitiveness in this scenario. “Having a regulatory reference framework for the decarbonisation of gaseous molecules, and how to provide visibility and certainty on how to build the new hydrogen reality in Europe will be key,” said Enagás’ Chief Executive Officer.