José Folgado closes the 12th AEEE Conference in Salamanca

The edition of this conference, organised by the Spanish Association for Energy Economics (AEEE), has focused specifically on climate change.

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The Chairman of Red Eléctrica, José Folgado, attended the closing session of the 12th Conference of the Spanish Association for Energy Economics (AEEE), which focused on climate change. This conference was organised by the Department of Economics and Economic History of the University of Salamanca and was sponsored by Red Eléctrica de España.

Mr. Folgado was accompanied by the Vice-Chancellor for the 8th Centennial Commemoration of the University of Salamanca, Mariano Esteban de Vega; the Dean of the Economics and Business Faculty of the University of Salamanca, Javier González; the President of AEEE, Gonzalo Sáenz de Miera, and the Chair of the Organising Committee of the 12th Conference, Rebeca Jiménez.

In his speech, the Chairman of Red Eléctrica, who presented the awards to the three best research papers of the conference, emphasised the importance of increasing European electricity interconnections, prioritising environmental sustainability and achieving greater energy efficiency as challenges for the near future.

In addition, Mr. Folgado recalled that in 2015, 75% of the foreign trade deficit was due to energy and stressed that on the road towards a more sustainable model, "40% of generation comes from renewable energy, which, if we add 20% coming from nuclear energy, that means that 60% of energy that does not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Spain is doing well in this regard, above other countries, although we must further increase the percentage of renewable energy".

Regarding the consumer’s electricity bill, he believes that it should "be cleared of some components, reducing the current bill somewhat" and stressed the fundamental importance of European interconnections "to avoid congestion and create a true single energy market where prices converge". In this regard, he highlighted the three new interconnections planned with France, two in the Pyrenees and one in the Bay of Biscay "that will take us, once they are commissioned, from 2,800 megawatts (MW) of exchange capacity to 9,000 MW".

In terms of energy efficiency, Mr. Folgado highlighted that this aspect has been improving in recent years. "A significant indicator is that GDP has grown by 3% and energy consumption by 0.7%". Companies and local councils are consuming electricity more efficiently and this is also true of consumption in households. In this regard, he pointed out that "building more energy efficient buildings could reduce electricity demand by 10%".

Lastly, the Chairman of Red Eléctrica stressed the need for an increased use of rail for the transportation of goods as well as a greater implementation of the electric vehicle.