"The European Commission has done a great job, but now the Member States must do what they have to do"
Mr Galán spoke to CNBC’s flagship European programme, Squawk Box, about the energy crisis, the outlook for energy in Europe and the U.S., as well as priorities for Iberdrola investment over the next three years.
Mr Galán commented that ongoing volatility in the energy sector has been driven by volatility in the oil and gas sector and the world’s reliance on it for around 75 % of energy needs compared with 25 % on electricity. Having witnessed three different crises in the energy sector across more than 20-years in the sector, the Chairman warned that continuing to rely on fossil fuels would result in the same issues being repeated in the future.
To resolve ongoing crisis, more carrots and not sticks are needed to incentivise the growth of clean energy. ‘Sticks’ included the permitting process and regulatory challenges in the EU, as countries are more fragmented on the response to the crisis. Stability would offer the support needed to scale up clean energy solutions to reduce dependence on energy imports, including deploying more renewable energy, strengthening grids, and developing more interconnection between countries.
He was positive about the fact that Europe already has established and ambitious frameworks agreed, such as Fit for 55 and RePowerEU. He stressed the need for an energy union in Europe, and less fragmentation when it comes to setting energy policies amongst the member states.
Mr Galan noted that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in U.S. was promoting investment in clean energy and grids and new solutions such as green hydrogen.
Discussing Iberdrola investment plans, Mr Galán highlighted that U.S. investment was increasing, and this also included the upcoming acquisition of PNM in New Mexico. He reiterated that ambitious investment is also planned in Europe and the UK, pointing to major investments in offshore wind.