DECARBONISATION: PRINCIPLES AND REGULATORY ACTIONS
Moving towards a sustainable and efficient energy framework
Iberdrola firmly believes that the transition to a low emission economy is possible and makes economic sense. That is why it supports the establishment of a zero net carbon emissions goal by 2050. The regulatory framework is key to enable the energy transition towards more efficient and non-emitting energy vectors and end uses, at the lowest possible cost. Decarbonisation of the economy is an opportunity for wealth growth, employment creation and air quality improvement.
1. Our general vision
The decarbonisation goal requires acting with ambition, establishing binding emission reduction targets to 2030 and 2040.
The electricity is the energy vector that allows massive renewable energies integration. It is the most efficient option, currently available, to decarbonise other economic sectors and, at the same time, the only one that improves the energy efficiency.
Hence, the electricity generation with renewable energies, together with the electrification of different energy uses, is the no-regret option to reduce emissions and it cannot be delayed.
1A. Decarbonising the electricity sector
The first challenge is to maximise decarbonisation of the electricity sector. It is the optimum sector to achieve decarbonisation quickly and competitively, thanks to the growing integration of renewable energy in the generation mix. Around 75% of renewable electricity generation in 2030 is expected, increasing up to 2050. To achieve a greater penetration of renewables it requires certain actions:
- Promotion of renewable generation, encouraging competitive mechanisms.
- Development and digitalisation of network infrastructure, with a stable and predictable regulatory framework.
- Establishment of capacity mechanisms that ensure the necessary firmness and flexibility of the system in a sustainable manner.
- Promotion of efficient storage, to facilitate optimal management of the high penetration of renewables.
1B. Electrification of the economy
The second challenge is to decarbonise other sectors of the economy through greater electrification, mainly transport (through electric vehicles) and buildings (through heat pumps). To do this, we must create a balanced playing field for energy sources:
- Establishing a uniform environmental taxation (all energy sources pay the cost of decarbonisation), based on the "polluter pays" principle.
- Eliminating barriers to electrification, removing non-supply costs from electricity tariffs and promoting electricity end uses.
Finally, progress must be made in relation to emission-free solutions that are currently technologically and economically immature, such as any of so called 'renewable' gases. To do this, R&D for clean solutions should be promoted, which may allow for greater decarbonisation in sectors where currently complete electrification is not possible (such as air or maritime transport, and high temperature industry...).