Hopes and challenges for a new era

Juan Lasala, Chief Executive Officer of Red Eléctrica, analyses some of the challenges faced by the Company in the coming years.

  • Tribune

After fourteen years’ service within the Red Eléctrica Group in various areas of management, I set out on my new career path as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), which represents not only an immense pride for me, but also brings with it a high-level of responsibility. The process of separation of the positions of Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Company not only responds to international recommendations on good governance but also and above all, the commitment undertaken by Red Eléctrica and its Chairman to its shareholders since 2012 under the firm conviction of the need of this process in order to address future challenges.

I have been appointed specifically for this task: to spearhead the development of the Strategic Plan 2014-2019 approved by the Board on 24 February 2015. The truth is that my involvement in this important mission began with the intense period of reflection among the different areas of the Company for its drafting.

The life of Red Eléctrica since it was founded in 1985 is undoubtedly a story full of successes, mainly for one reason: its capability to adapt to different political, regulatory, economic and technological frameworks under which it has performed its mission while maintaining the  basic values ​​and principles of the Company that govern how its activity is carried out. This strength, based on an excellent team of professionals with extensive knowledge and experience, will make the road to overcoming the difficult challenges we have set ourselves much easier.

After 30 years of success of a world pioneering electricity system management model, the TSO model (Transmission System Operator), it was logical that its further development be included in the plan as a cornerstone, adapting the Company to the new regulatory and remuneration scheme. Therefore, of the 4.8 billion euros that we plan to invest in the upcoming years, 3.2 billion will be earmarked for achieving a transmission grid that is increasingly meshed, more robust and better interconnected.

Moreover, we must not ignore the new opportunities that open up and that represent a greater weighting of the non-regulated business. Thus, the plan undertakes a greater range of activities such as the management of the optic fibre infrastructure and expanding the business base in the Canary Islands through energy storage as a tool for system operation and new investments in the international arena. Investment in all these activities will exceed 1.5 billion euros.

Innovation is a key element in our corporate culture and, consequently, it will also be included in the new strategic plan, which will allow us to meet the challenges. To do this, we will build on the greatest asset of the Company, our employees, therefore we will continue working to develop talent, creating a healthy business environment that favours the organisation of work and the well-being of our staff.

Therefore, a new stage in the life of the Company opens up that will require that certain areas be strengthened and will bring with it the logical adjustments arising from the separation of the executive and control functions; changes that will contribute to strengthening Red Eléctrica’s position in the achievement of its main objective: consolidate itself as an efficient and profitable company, while being sustainable, ethical and committed to society, and whose management is carried out with a focus on excellence and accountability. I am certain that, under this premise, the list of successes of the Red Eléctrica Group will continue to grow over the coming years.

Juan Lasala, Chief Executive Officer of Red Eléctrica.