International interconnections, essential for the promotion of renewable energy

The European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete, presented the book 'Electricity and gas interconnections of the Iberian Peninsula: Current Status and Outlook, on which Red Eléctrica has collaborated.

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The Spanish Energy Club (Enerclub) hosted the presentation of the publication “Electricity and gas interconnections of the Iberian Peninsula: Current Status and Outlook" in an event  presided over by the President of Enerclub, Pedro Miró and by the Secretary of State for Energy, Alberto Nadal, as well as by the Chairman of Red Eléctrica, José Folgado, and the Chairman of Enagas Antonio Llardén, who were accompanied by the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete.

During the presentation of this publication, on which Red Eléctrica de España has collaborated, the Secretary of State for Energy stressed the isolated nature of the Iberian Peninsula with regard to the rest of Europe in terms of interconnection infrastructure, which makes Spain’s full integration into the Internal Energy Market (IEM) an extremely challenging task.

Similarly, Mr. Nadal also remarked that it is essential to link the development of interconnections with the renewables target, because without this bond, it is virtually impossible to consider increasing the installed power capacity of these technologies.

In this sense, the Chairman of Red Eléctrica, José Folgado, said that the interconnections are an issue that has always been very present on the energy agenda of the European Union. During the European Council meeting held in Barcelona in 2002 it was agreed that Member States had to achieve an electricity interconnection level of at least 10% of their installed production capacity by 2005.

Similarly, he stressed that during 2015, there have been significant advances in this field with the entry into commercial operation of a new interconnection between Spain and France, the first since 1982, which has allowed the exchange capacity between the two countries to be doubled.

Lastly, the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete, reiterated that Europe is in a process of reformulating its energy policy; a process in which both the Energy Union and the interconnections play a key role.

The Commissioner indicated that this is an issue that affects not only Spain, but also the rest of Europe and highlighted two facts that need to be addressed in the quest for a single energy market: the fact that each country has different regulations and that there are insufficient interconnections. "If we want a market in which energy can flow freely, where there will be competition, where production of renewable energy is balanced, then interconnections are an absolutely necessary essential policy (...) political impetus is necessary and so is a political commitment at the highest level," he concluded.

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