Ribera accuses the electricity companies of “no social empathy” but does not see illegalities | Economy

Protest against Iberdrola for the rise in electricity, in Bilbo last January. (Marisol RAMIREZ | FOKU)

The Vice President of the Ecological Transition of the Spanish Government, Teresa Ribera, accused in Congress this Monday the electricity companies that manage hydroelectric plants of not showing “any social empathy”, stating that their management has led to the highest price of electricity in more than half the hours in recent months. This Monday the record was broken again.

“This is not reasonable in any way” has lamented Ribera, criticizing that, although “it is very likely” that this type of practice may be legal, he considers that “no social empathy has been shown.”

This technology, he pointed out, is not affected by the increase in gas prices or by CO2 rights, the most important factors to explain the increase in electricity prices. However, it has been the generation of hydroelectric electricity, and not the combined cycle plants (which uses natural gas), the most expensive energy and the one that has set the price in the wholesale market in 65% of the hours of June , 64% of those of July and 59% of those of August.

For this Tuesday, when a new historical record in the price of electricity is expected, more than 130 euros per megawatt / hour, this technology sets the price (and, therefore, is the most expensive) in 17 of the 24 hours of the day.

This responds, explained the third vice president, to the possibility of the power plants concessionaires to “internalize the opportunity cost” in an escalation in electricity prices. “We know that it is very likely that what they have done is perfectly compatible with wholesale design, with the possibility of internalizing the opportunity cost,” said Ribera.

He also recalled the emptying of reservoirs, with the very recent Ricobayo, a “scandalous” reduction in flow that, as he explained, “it cannot be ruled out that it is compatible” with the operating conditions of these plants, with which it would also have legal coverage.

Wait for it to “correct itself”

In any case, as much as these operations may be legal, Ribera believes that “this is not reasonable in any way.” “No social empathy has been shown,” insisted the minister responsible for energy, who is confident that this situation “will be corrected.”

“Although it sounds like a joke, empathy is listed on the stock market,” said the vice president, noting that investors in large companies “respond to principles of social sustainability as well.”

To deal with these situations, it has said that the Government “is already working” on the application of Article 55 of the Water Law to “have order” in this type of concession. This article includes the control of reservoirs and the powers of the hydrographic confederations for the management of these plants.

Iñarritu: «Scam» and «shame»

After listening to the minister, the deputy of EH Bildu Jon Iñarritu has considered that “you have been very educated” when describing what the electricity companies are doing. In his opinion, it is more correct to apply terms such as “scam” or “shame.”

He also asked Teresa Ribera “what are you going to do” to correct these situations. Are they going to investigate? And why have they vetoed our request for the appearance of Mr. Galán [presidente de Iberdrola]?, has apostilled.

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Ribera accuses the electricity companies of “no social empathy” but does not see illegalities | Economy