The energy transition must generate wealth in the territory and must therefore be accompanied by industrial development.

Pamplona. 4th May 2023. Enercluster held its first plenary session of 2023 on Wednesday 3 May at the headquarters of Zabala Innovation in Mutilva, attended by representatives of around fifty companies from the renewable energy industry. The main focus of the session was a round table discussion led by the directors and managers of the energy clusters of the Basque Country, Castile and Leon, Aragon and Galicia, as well as the managing director of Enercluster.

The round table discussed issues such as the development of the renewable energy industry in each of the territories, the need to streamline bureaucratic procedures to speed up the deadlines for energy projects, the new European Union regulation that aims to promote the development of the industry, and the opposition to renewable energy projects in each of the territories.

On this last point, Francisco Javier Valenzuela, director of the Aragon Energy Cluster (CLENAR) pointed out that his organisation has carried out various communication actions to publicise the economic and social impact of renewable energy projects. Among them is a study carried out with the University of Zaragoza in which the cost of production of a megawatt is demonstrated and what return each megawatt has on the populations: “When data is provided, the story ends,” he said. Oriol Sarmiento, manager of the Galician Renewable Energy Cluster (Cluergal), was of the same opinion. He argued that the sector needs to better explain the benefits of implementing renewable energies: “We advocate a fair energy transition, we want the generation of wealth in the territory; for this reason the energy transition must be accompanied by industrial development”, he concluded.

The speakers also agreed that in their respective communities they encounter bureaucratic difficulties in dealing with the Administration. In this regard, María Jesús Jiménez, Director of the Renewable Energy Cluster of Castilla y León (CYLSOLAR), stressed that “the obligation to meet deadlines in the achievement of intermediate milestones, set by the law itself, adds new bureaucratic hurdles in the whole process of processing facilities, in this case, in access and connection permits”, which is why she called for a review of the laws to reduce and facilitate administrative procedures. In this regard, Iker Chasco, managing director of Enercluster, commented that “one of the main functions of the cluster is precisely to work with the Administration to speed up all the necessary procedures for the installation of wind farms”.

Another major issue affecting companies in the sector is the Green Deal Industrial Plan, which was also discussed at the session. This is a European Union regulatory framework that aims to promote the transition towards climate neutrality while encouraging the development of industry. For José Ignacio Hormaeche, director of the Basque Country Energy Cluster, this is an opportunity: “It is the first time that for the EU it is as important that Europe is sustainable in terms of energy as it is that the manufacture of equipment is of European origin. In this way, a context has been created in which the benefits will come, although this regulation will be slow,” he said.

As usual, the Enercluster plenary session included the summary of the cluster’s activity in recent months, as well as the main decisions taken by the board. In addition, there were presentations by three associated companies, on this occasion Zabala Innovation, Arpa Abogados and Tesicnor.

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