IEA Executive Director meets with Spanish Minister of Energy
23 May 2017
MADRID – Dr Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency’s Executive Director, on Tuesday met with Mr Alvaro Nadal, Spanish Minister of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda, to review Spanish, European and global energy markets and plans for the next IEA Ministerial Meeting, to be held in November.
On the topic of energy security, Dr Birol emphasized Spain’s successful integration of renewables into the grid, which it managed while minimizing curtailments and without jeopardizing the grid stability. He congratulted Minister Nadal on the recent renewables auction that awarded 3 gigawatts of capacity without subsidies. They also discussed the future role of natural gas and nuclear power, given many of the country’s reactors will soon require lifetime extensions if they are to continue operation.
Dr Birol also met with Ignacio Sánchez Galán, CEO and Chairman of Iberdrola, to discuss a range of issues including the economic challenges of extending the life of Spain's nuclear power plants and the potential of electric vehicles. In addition, Dr Birol met with Enagas CEO Marcelino Oreja and Chairman Antoni Llardén to discuss global gas markets, and in particular the opportunities presented by floating storage regasification units.
In a lunch address at the Club Español de la Energia, Dr Birol gave a presentation to government and industry leaders on “Energy markets: today and tomorrow.” The presentation emphasized the rapid pace of change in today’s energy markets, with renewables and electric car sales rising rapidly. He also noted that while there is no peak in sight for oil demand anytime soon, there will be a slowdown in growth as oil use in power generation, buildings and passenger transport is set to fall over the coming 25 years.
Dr Birol concluded by emphasizing that energy investment today will have an impact on security, sustainability and jobs for many decades to come.