“It’s a shame we still don’t have good energy interconnections between southern and northern Europe”, says CEO of EDP

“It is a shame that we still do not have good south-north interconnections, and that it was easier to build a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany than between two European countries, Spain and France†, stated the executive president of EDP, Miguel Stilwell de Andrade, in an interview with the newspaper “El Mundo†.

In the interview, published this Sunday, the manager comments that this “is not a technical issue, it is political†and argues that resolving it should be “an absolute priority†.

“Europe is stronger when it is united. There is talk of an energetic European Union, but if we are unable to build interconnections, then Europe will not take advantage of its scale and strength to be more resilient in the long term. €, commented the manager.

“Spain and Portugal can play a very relevant role, but for that we need interconnections with France and the rest of Europe,†he noted.

In the interview, the executive president of EDP noted that “cheap energy should never be a problem†and argues that the Iberian Peninsula can take advantage of having access to “very cheap energy†. “Spain and Portugal should think about how to take advantage of this resource to reindustrialize,†said Miguel Stilwell de Andrade.

In the first quarter, in fact, Portugal stood out for having recorded the lowest wholesale electricity price at European level, according to the Express revealed in early April. In April the trend continued and the Iberian market had its cheapest month ever.

On many days there have been wholesale prices close to zero (this was especially visible in March and April, with the current month of May bringing higher prices), which penalizes electricity producers who sell on the market and which are not covered by guaranteed tariffs for selling their energy to the grid.

In the interview with “El Mundoâ€, Miguel Stilwell de Andrade warns that “with these prices no one will make investments in renewables†.

Strengthening energy interconnections between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe has been discussed for years. But the topic is not consensual. Although greater interconnection, creating an “Energy Union†, allows for the creation of a broader and more competitive market, there have been voices questioning the interest of Portugal and Spain in having greater connectivity with France now that begin to benefit from access to more considerable volumes of cheap electricity.

The argument is that access to this energy at a more competitive cost (such as that coming from the wave of photovoltaic plants that are being developed) could be used by industries in Portugal and Spain, instead of the Iberian Peninsula providing Priority is given to strengthening connections to export electricity to central and northern Europe.

Over the years, France has expressed a lack of interest in strengthening interconnections, whether electricity or natural gas, with Spain, safeguarding its own market, heavily anchored in nuclear energy.

In both Portugal and Spain there has been a growing interest from various industries to take advantage of access to electricity at competitive prices. In the interview with “El Mundoâ€, Miguel Stilwell de Andrade recalled data centers and the fact that “the artificial intelligence ecosystem consumes a huge amount of energy†, but also highlights the steel industry (and its need for decarbonization ion). “We must decide what role the Peninsula wants to play,†he noted.

In recent days, Amazon Web Services announced an investment of 15.7 billion euros in Spain, which will create 6800 jobs.

In Portugal, the most ambitious data center project is that of Start Campus, in Sines, with an estimated investment of 3.5 billion euros, in a municipality for which other large-scale investments in electro-intensive industries are planned. , linked to green hydrogen and green steel, among other areas.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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