The CEO of Cepsa, Maarten Wetselaar, does not rule out that the measure proposed by Spain and Portugal of capping the price of gas to lower electricity prices will have to be extended over time and may even be copied by other European countries.
Wetsellaar has recognized "understanding the motivations of the Governments" that take this measure to help consumers and companies that are paying triple in their electricity bills. “These are very difficult and complex times and extraordinary measures are needed. I understand the reasons that have given rise to this average”, he assured this Wednesday during his speech at the New Economy Forum in Madrid.
Asked about the necessary duration of these measures, the top manager of the oil company has been clear. "They are likely to last as long as the war lasts, and this one is going to be long," he warned.
The impact of the war will also have its repercussions on the incentive policies for the energy transition. According to the director, European governments are obliged to allocate public budgets to cover measures that mitigate price increases and the impact that the conflict is causing in the economy, and that means "withdrawing investment in the energy transformation process".
In any case, "the private sector has a lot of money to invest if the investment process is well structured," he pointed out, which is why he recalled that "governments only need to ensure that they guarantee stable legislation that is favorable to this transformation" .
In the case of Cepsa, its objective is clear. The company has ruled out entering into competition with the development of photovoltaic and renewable energies, its investments are focused exclusively on self-consumption, to bet on the development of green molecules in general and hydrogen in particular.
“It is true that now green hydrogen is not profitable. It costs between 6 and 8 dollars per kilo. We have to make it profitable with cheap electricity, since it is 75% of its cost, and scaling its production until it becomes massive”, explained Wetselaar.
At this point, he highlighted the potential role that Spain can play in a new geoenergy board. “With the boost of photovoltaic and wind power, Spain can become the country in Europe that produces the cheapest electrical energy, and that can be the starting point to lead the production of cheaper green hydrogen”, he explained.
According to the top manager of Cepsa, for this, the price of a megawatt hour of electricity must be between 20 and 25 euros, "if it succeeds, Spain can become an exporter of this molecule and provide it to the rest of the countries of the European Union".
It is also the commitment of Cepsa, which in its latest strategic plan has chosen to focus on leading the production of green hydrogen with a total investment of 8,000 million euros in the remainder of the decade.
Regarding the aforementioned plans to return to listing on the market, the manager has promised "we will return to the stock market, but not now". The moment will be "only when we can offer green investments and for that we still have left", he has acknowledged.