Third Vice President of the Government and Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge
The International Conference on Renewable Energies in Spain on February 20-23 is a great opportunity to take stock of the current state of the energy transition and the deployment of renewable energies after a year of enormous upheaval caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The participation of government, business and civil society representatives will allow us to establish a fruitful dialogue on the challenges we are facing in the current context of the energy crisis, as well as the challenges we need to address in the medium term to achieve our climate goals. We must intensify the global debate on the challenges of the energy transition and SPIREC 2023 is a key milestone for sharing experiences and best practices in the decarbonization agenda.
In our response to the crisis, we have reinforced our commitment to accelerate the decarbonization of our energy system to end exacerbated dependences on fossil fuels, secure an affordable energy supply and advance in our agenda of emissions reduction. Although we have pointed at that the deployment of renewable energies as the right way to guarantee our energy security and strategic autonomy, there is still a lot of work ahead in order to materialize the integration of clean energies in all sectors of society and economy. The deployment of renewable energies must come hand-in-hand measures aimed at promoting energy efficiency and provide the energy system with the necessary flexibility to guarantee a stable supply. The current crisis has also highlighted the bottlenecks on which we must focus our efforts in the coming years. In a highly volatile geopolitical context, ensuring the stability and resilience of the value chains linked to the expansion of green technologies is a major challenge, and indeed, the supply of key raw materials has become a key item on the agenda of governments and companies around the world. The energy transition promotes the development of new industrial sectors and huge potential for green economic growth and job creation. We must work to ensure that the industrial development promoted by governments around the world is not at odds with the strengthening of international cooperation in articulating a global response to a challenge that transcends domestic borders. Likewise, the opportunities linked to a sustainable growth model must be shared equitably. We must place people, especially the most vulnerable, at the centre of a just energy transition.
Spain has made a significant effort in accelerating the energy transition in the last year, with a huge renewable energy potential that has been key in weathering the effects of the crisis. As hosts of IREC 2023, we are well positioned to drive a necessary debate on present and future challenges and to bring together voices and experiences that will allow us to be on time in the deployment of the energy transition.
President of the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21)
REN21 warmly welcomes you to the Spanish International Renewable Energy Conference (SPIREC) 2023 in Madrid. This is the first conference of the IREC series since the COVID pandemic, and it is happening amidst the biggest energy crisis in history. This is a game changing opportunity for the renewable energy sector, and for society as a whole, to build a more secure, resilient, and sustainable energy system by ushering in a transformation of the global economy and society.
The use of clean technologies is accelerating worldwide with global installed renewable power capacity at its highest ever. But despite this, governments are responding to the current energy crisis and parallel growing energy consumption with more fossil fuel subsidies. As a result, the use of fossil fuel is outpacing the growth in renewables, leaving the energy transition at a standstill.
The deployment and uptake of renewable energy can build a resilient, secure energy system that is reliable and affordable. Renewables can reduce energy vulnerability and help drive inclusive, fair and equitable global and local socio-economic development. They can also help decarbonise our societies to address climate change impacts. Integrating renewables across our economies and societies requires deep structural changes and decision makers need to embrace a multi-stakeholder’s approach, moving beyond the energy bubble and developing policies and targets at all levels of government, in all sectors, and at the heart of economic and industrial policies.
The International Renewable Energy Conference series provides such a multi-stakeholder space. Since Bonn 2004, the landmark international conference that inaugurated the IREC series, stakeholders from around the world, representing governments, civil society and business, have gathered to discuss, debate and learn from each other, all with the same objective in mind: drive the rapid uptake of renewables now!
REN21 is pleased to co-host this IREC with Spain. Spain has a long track record in the renewable energy sector. Its commitment to placing renewables at the heart of its economy and society is commendable. Spain understands that the energy transition can be a key driver for economic recovery, protection of consumers and the reduction of vulnerabilities associated with external energy dependence. The country has also set clear targets and governance for the deployment of renewable energy.
Spain wants to make SPIREC the turning point for public debate on renewable energy. We challenge you to help make this happen. Welcome to SPIREC 2023!