Ignacio Galán is executive chairman of Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest clean energy utility companies. In 2023, it significantly scaled up solar, wind, and hydro power production in the U.S. and Brazil.
What is the single most important action you think the public, or a specific company or government, needs to take in the next year to advance the climate agenda?
We need to set the goal of tripling renewable capacity by 2030. All agents will need to act urgently to implement it. Governments, to speed-up permitting. And companies, investing in renewable energy, but also in networks. As the IEA says, one euro of investment in networks is needed for each euro invested in renewables.
What sustainability effort do you hope will gain popularity with the general public this year, and why?
Thanks to progress in technology, it is possible to combine sustainability, affordability, and energy security. This is what electrification brings. Today, people can embrace sustainability while improving customer experience and personal finances. Electric mobility is a very good example. The uptake of electric vehicles is accelerating, in line with the ongoing increase in competitiveness and performance. I can talk from my own experience. And the same happens with other energy uses. I am very confident this will continue growing strongly.
What’s the most important climate legislation that could pass in the next year?
In 2024, there will be important energy legislation on both sides of the Atlantic. In the United States, we need to see progress in the detailed implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act to maximize the positive impact of tax credits. And in Europe we will start implementing the Electricity Market Reform, which is in the final stages of its approval process. These two pieces of legislation can set the right scene to attract the huge investments required to accelerate decarbonization, but also [economic] growth, industrial development and job creation.
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