More than 1,500 representatives of Spanish companies, institutions and associations gathered in the city of Granada for the Congreso de Directivos CEDE, which under the slogan “Towards a new business leadership” brought together the main business leaders of our country. A the congress, which this year celebrates its XXII edition, experts analysed the current economic situation and gave the keys to strengthen and promote Spanish companies.
The institutional welcome was the kick off for the congress, in which the different representatives made it clear that “businessmen are the engine of growth and their companies are the best brand of a country”, in the words of Ramón Adell, vicepresident of the CEDE Foundation.
This year the CEDE congress featured a panel focused on energy, ‘The energy of the future’, which brought together leading experts in energy and management. Alicia Carrasco, CEO of olivoENERGY, moderated the panel which featured two exceptional speakers: Francisco Reynés, executive chairman of Naturgy and Brian Davis, CEO of C2X – AP Moller Maersk Group who offered valuable insights on how companies can embrace the transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, while maintaining their competitiveness and profitability.
“It is imperative to drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while deploying consumer protection measures at a time of high prices. At a time when the electricity market reform is being negotiated and to achieve its ambitious objectives (for example, tripling renewable energy production to 11,000 gigawatts) it is necessary to apply all the vectors, from the electrification of the economy, security of supply, decarbonization, P2X, hydrogen, biomethane and electricity grids, to flexible consumer resource management, including demand management and storage,” contextualized Carrasco.
In Reynés’ opinion, “there are three axes on which the energy transition must be piloted: increasing sustainable energy production to achieve decarbonization and making energy accessible to everyone without compromising security of supply. The challenge is enormous and we are working in parallel to meet these challenges. This is the main objective of the energy sector”.
Brian Davis addressed the problems faced by those sectors that cannot electrify, such as large ships in the shipping industry. This sector needs to run on non-fossil fuels, for example methanol. There are already examples of large ships that are using this sustainable fuel.
To close the panel the experts shared their thoughts on the impact of the Russia – Ukrainia and Israeli-Palestinian wars on the energy sector. Both speakers stressed that the events are tragic and we cannot forget nor neglect the human tragedy they bring as a consequence. The two conflicts have made it clear that geopolitics and energy have always been connected and are the main reason for the rise in energy prices. This new geopolitical situation makes it clear that we need to focus on achieving energy independence to cope with these rising energy prices. Industry and governments need to work more closely together to meet these challenges.
In conclusion, Alicia Carrasco highlighted that it has become clear that Naturgy and C2X, like many other companies, are ready to deploy the energy transition, they have a clear vision and the necessary solutions, but infrastructure, networks and the slow pace of permitting need to be resolved.
Nadia Calviño, First Vice President and Acting Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation of the Government of Spain and Juanma Moreno, President of the Regional Government of Andalusia, were in charge of Institutionally closing the conference before the intervention fo H.M the King Felipe VI, Honorary President of the CEDE Foundation whom proceeded to close the congress.