Environmental sustainability has always formed part of the Company’s management of ever since it was founded in 1985.
Since the creation of Red Eléctrica de España in 1985, environmental sustainability has been an integral part of the management of the Company. The Company’s environmental management system (in accordance with UNE-EN ISO 14001) was implemented in 1999 and since 2001, Red Eléctrica has been included in the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Register.
Environmental management has evolved in line with the challenges that have arisen and needed to be addressed and, above all, to the extent of our stakeholders’ demands.
In recent years, there has been increasing concern about global environmental issues such as climate change. Red Eléctrica, aware that this issue is a major concern in all areas (political, scientific, social and economic) and aware of the relevance that the Company’s activities have in the fight against climate change, decided to formalise their commitment through the adoption in 2011 of a specific climate change strategy which was revised in May 2014.
The role of Red Eléctrica as transmission agent and operator of the Spanish electricity system
Red Eléctrica´s activities as transmission agent and operator of the Spanish electricity system are essential to meet the European Union´s 20-20-20 climate targets and to move towards a more sustainable electricity system.
In this regard, the safe integration of renewable energy is undoubtedly an essential element and therefore, has been key for the Company in recent years. As manager of the Spanish power transmission grid, Red Eléctrica has constructed and commissioned the facilities and infrastructure necessary to enable the connection of renewable energy generation stations. In its role as system operator, it has made an enormous effort to integrate the maximum production of these energies whilst maintaining levels of quality and security of supply. The Control Centre of Renewable Energies (CECRE) has definitely contributed to this effort and today renewable energy production in the peninsular system currently accounts for over 40% of the annual energy production, in some cases having reached hourly coverage values of over 80%.
The improvement in efficiency of the electricity system is also a priority. In this area it is the demand-side management initiatives that are relevant as they are aimed at promoting the responsible use of electricity. Amongst these are those related to the promotion and introduction of the electric vehicle.
Additionally, there are also other matters such as the strengthening of international interconnections and of those between islands, and the development of innovative initiatives, such as smart grids and projects in the field of energy storage, all of which are fundamental to improve the sustainability of the system. These aspects represent the main challenges facing the Company in the coming years.
The Climate Change Action Plan
Red Eléctrica, in addition to working in the area of its core activities, has decided to undertake the commitment to reduce its greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and to work to extend this commitment to its stakeholders (mainly its suppliers and to society). Thus, and according to the principles set out in its climate change strategy, it has defined an ambitious action plan, approved in May 2015.
Regarding GHG emissions, the Company has set a goal to reduce or offset 21% of its emissions with regard to 2010, and to do so in the 2020 horizon. To do this, measures have been planned which fall into three areas: controlling SF6 emissions, implementation of energy efficiency measures and offsetting emissions, primarily through the ‘Red Eléctrica Forest’ project.
Among the efficiency measures, included are not only those actions that Red Electrica will carry out in its facilities and work centres, but also those relating to sustainable mobility. The latter are articulated in a specific mobility plan. Also noteworthy are those activities aimed at the training and raising awareness of society.
Finally, it is worth noting that in addition to the actions aimed at mitigation, Red Eléctrica has already begun to work on the study of the considerations associated to the need to adapt to situations that could arise from climate change.