Miguel Marzo, president of CEOE Aragon, highlighted this morning at Foro Sella 2024 the leadership of Aragon as an autonomous community that is “leading the energy transition in Europe.” As evidence of this, he emphasized the agreement signed today by Forestalia with the Chinese company CGE within the framework of Foro Sella, for over 1,000 million euros, and the one announced yesterday by Amazon, for 15.7 billion euros.

“The important thing is not only the investment, but the ecosystem that is created around these types of investments,” Marzo emphasized, highlighting the emergence in recent years of the energy and technological sectors in Aragon, which are also cross-cutting with the rest of the business fabric and help it to grow.

The president of CEOE Aragon has delivered several important messages, such as the need to value all resources, because “we have many needy neighbors.” He stated that the region must remain competitive and this aspect must be taken care of, since “there are other territories that also have sun, land, and wind.” Finally, he requested that the PERTES related to energy be processed, because “we are already late” and “at this rate we will not achieve the decarbonization objectives that we have set.”

Publication of PERTE VEC III

The Minister of Industry and Tourism, Jordi Hereu, inaugurated Foro Sella 2024 and announced during his speech the imminent publication tomorrow, May 24th, of PERTE VEC III. He also recalled that the Ministry is working on the Industry and Strategic Autonomy Law, which “will introduce all the reality that has changed since 1992 and will strengthen the industrial culture in Spain.”

The minister also recalled that Aragon, Spain, and Europe are facing two major challenges: energy transition and digitalization, to which artificial intelligence is now added. Furthermore, he reminds that “we are at a moment when the EU has decided to recover and boost the productive and industrial sector.”

“Industry is returning, because of the values it embodies” and because of the “lessons learned” from the various crises. “All these problems and difficulties have shown that Europe must have productive capacity,” he insisted.

Hereu stressed the need to invest in physical capital, human capital, and infrastructure, and he affirmed that the fight against climate change is essential because it also means gaining a competitive factor. “After a long time, now in Spain we are competitive in this aspect,” he added.

The three major problems

Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor at Stanford University and author of the book “No Miracles Needed. How Today´s Technology Can Save Our Climate and Clean Our Air” addressed in his speech how to carry out the transition to clean and renewable energy and storage without miraculous recipes.

The expert stated that the world needs to undertake an energy transition to address air pollution, global warming, and energy insecurity, identifying these as the three main problems to solve.

“Worldwide, 7.4 million people die each year due to air pollution. Global warming is already causing enormous damage. Fossil fuels are limited resources and will run out; they need to be replaced to avoid economic, social, and political instability,” he pointed out.

Jacobson considered that to solve these three problems, it is necessary to electrify almost all energy and provide electricity with clean and renewable sources, such as wind, hydro, and solar.

“We have 95% of the technologies we need to solve the problems. The ones we don’t have, we know how to make,” he argued.

Regarding Spain, and focusing on his report “A Solution to Global Warming, Air Pollution, and Energy Insecurity in Spain,” the Stanford University professor calculates that a transition would reduce energy needs by 57.6%, decrease annual energy costs by 64.2%, reduce annual costs of energy plus health and climate by 88.3%, save 8,600 lives per year due to air pollution, and create 203,000 more long-term and full-time jobs. He also indicates that Spain uses only 0.1% of the land for large-scale solar energy footprint and 0.6% for the space between wind turbines.

Looking to the future, the expert advises focusing on electrifying and supplying electricity with clean and renewable energy and not getting distracted by “tricks.”

Foro Sella, promoted by the Industry and Energy Forum, CEOE Aragon, Forestalia, Opina 360, and the Aragon Energy Cluster, has been held throughout this morning at Hábitat Sella, in Villanueva de Gállego (Zaragoza).