Also taking part in the 11th Annual Energy Conference were Javier Solana (EsadeGeo) and Elena Bou (EIT InnoEnergy)
“The energy transition is unstoppable. There’s no going back”, said Cristina Lobillo, Director for the Energy Platform Task Force of the European Commission, during the 11th Edition of the Global Annual Energy Meeting organized by EsadeGeo, the EU Commission delegation in Spain and EIT InnoEnergy. Ricardo Mourinho, Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), believes that the landscape created by “the dreadful war in Ukraine” calls for “a global dialogue about the energy transition more urgently than ever”.
During this event attended by dozens of industry leaders, at a time of crucial importance for the energy architecture of the EU, Lobillo praised the EU’s response to the “unprecedented” crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and their “orchestrated plan” to cut off gas supplies to the EU. “We can be very proud. Our response was very fast and effective and enabled us to survive this crisis”, she said. Amongst the steps taken by the 27 EU member states, Lobillo highlighted the cornerstones of the REPowerEU scheme – i.e., to reduce the demand for gas, replace Russia with more reliable suppliers and speed up the energy transition – and also the law on the net-zero emissions industry and the EU law on critical raw materials.
“This is not the end. This is the first step”, said Lobillo. “The energy transition is not something that can be solved merely by legislation. We need funding, dialogue and co-operation with you all. It’s one of the main challenges facing the EU in the coming years. But we can’t do this alone. We need you all”, he concluded at the start of the conference. Next came several discussions about “Geopolitics and the battery supply chain” and “Navigating the energy crisis to uphold the industrial base of the EU.”
Affordable, sustainable energy: crucial for the EU project
Mourinho also analyzed the challenges in this industry and how the EIB can help address them. “Securing sustainable and affordable energy is central to the competitiveness of European economies, the wellbeing of the European people and, in today’s geopolitical setting, crucial to ensure the strategic autonomy of the EU and its members states”, he said. Mourinho described the EIB as a catalyst of the essential dialogue regarding the energy transition due to its role in funding efforts to combat climate change. “We are at the forefront of the clean energy transition both inside and outside the EU. The EIB is a green financing role model for financial institutions, and we are eager to do everything in our power to continue promoting the EU’s green values inside Europe and globally.”
The Global Annual Energy Meeting, entitled “Securing the EU’s Industrial Lead for a Future Net-Zero Economy”, was held this year for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The conference was marked by the steps taken by the EU to address this challenge and the aim of ceasing to rely on fossil fuels, creating a positive landscape for promoting and increasing the manufacturing capacity of strategic zero-emission technologies and enhancing the competitive edge of their industrial base.
This conference was opened by Lucas González, interim Director of the EU Commission delegation in Spain; Javier Solana, President of the Esade Centre of Geopolitics and Global Economy (EsadeGeo); and Elena Bou, Executive Board Member & Innovation Director of EIT InnoEnergy.