By Julio Crespo, Managing director of Tarba. Published by Expansión, 3rd of January 2024

With the results of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), the expectations and challenges for electricity generation companies in Spain are seen with a tinge of hope and commitment. We are aware of the prevailing need to address climate change and we are charting and traveling a path towards decarbonization.

In the global scenario of the energy transition, companies are committed to clean and renewable energies as key pieces to achieve carbon neutrality objectives. However, this path to sustainability is not a sprint, but rather a marathon in which every step counts. We are committed to an energy future based on renewable sources and understand the need to be pragmatic in the decarbonization process.

This is clear from the latest agreement reached at COP28. It is necessary to address the role of natural gas as a strategic ally in the transition towards a more sustainable model. The agreement recognizes that “transition fuels can play a role in facilitating the ecological transition while ensuring energy security.”

Natural gas is considered a transition technology and has been included in the European Union’s green taxonomy. The concept of sustainability, the backbone of conferences like the one in Dubai, is associated with today as well as tomorrow. For this reason, we must use the most efficient resources of the present, both the natural gas we have and renewable energies, in a process of coexistence in which while one descends, the others are encouraged to take over.

In this sense, it highlights the importance of using local resources during this process, taking advantage of natural gas as a bridge to a totally renewable future. Reducing European dependence on foreign countries not only involves the agile adoption of new energy models and their storage challenges, but also by taking advantage of the natural gas that we have in our territories and by recognizing the value of current gas infrastructures. for the full integration of renewable gases such as biomethane or hydrogen into a sustainable energy system. In Spain there is natural gas and pipelines to transport it!

The flexibility offered by natural gas allows its effective integration with intermittent renewable energies and scalable hybridization projects. In times when energy demand is high and renewable sources cannot fully meet that demand, natural gas can act as a reliable backup source. Natural gas is not just a temporary solution, but a strategic tool on your path to decarbonization.

COP28 has provided the opportunity to share ideas, including those of countries with the most fossil energy resources, and propose a balanced approach that recognizes the diversity of energy realities and encourages the adoption of practical and effective solutions.

The main objective of COP28 is to “transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a fair, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, according to the science”. To achieve this, it is essential to understand that the transition does not imply abruptly eliminating conventional energy sources. This approach can have negative consequences for energy stability and the economy. Instead, let’s work on a gradual transition, where local resources are used efficiently, maximizing the positive impact on emissions reduction. We must build a solid foundation so that renewables can fulfil their role with all guarantees.

In short, we must continue to move forward in line with the results of COP28, with the conviction that decarbonization is an evolutionary process. With the commitment to renewable energies and the strategic integration of natural gas, the global dialogue on the energy transition is enriched. In a world that demands concrete actions and tangible commitments, energy generating companies must be an example of how adaptability and collaboration can be the key to achieving a more sustainable future.