Teresa Ribera, third vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition, revealed this Wednesday that the implementation of the cap on gas has allowed Spaniards to save up to 4,000 million euros in the inflationary framework that is affecting the entire European Union due to the invasion Russian in Ukraine In this way, the minister has responded to the allegations of Guillermo Mariscal, deputy of the PP, who snapped at the minister that this mechanism is only serving to encourage greater gas flaring compared to last year.
In addition, the third vice president has defended the other virtues of this measure, which, as she explained, has also guaranteed between 2% and 3.5% of the electricity supply in France and 35% of the electricity supply in Portugal. Mariscal’s criticisms in the control session have also focused on the failure to start up the Midcat gas pipeline. However, Ribera has registered that the project was considered “unfeasible” and even “ruinous” by the European commissioner Miguel Ángel Arias Cañete –former PP minister– after carrying out a cost-benefit analysis.
In fact, the vice president has registered to the ‘popular’ that the Midcat project was ruled out “without the need to propose another alternative in the Energy Council.” In addition, Ribera has reproached the popular ones for flagging this project “by the wayside”, since the initiative was added to the problem that France does not have a system that allows it to pump gas to the German border.
Storage as an action plan against future shocks
For this reason, the Government’s action in this matter has involved working to maximize existing infrastructures, increasing “very significantly” the export of gas with an additional compressor in Irún towards France, with the installation of a system that allows methane tankers to be transported from Barcelona to Italy and with the activation of a platform that will operate the Musel in the coming weeks, to guarantee the arrival of LNG and storage “for when Europe needs it”.
Finally, the PP deputy has made other criticisms of the minister for gas imports to Russia or the new gas pipeline project for the transport of green hydrogen (H2Med), which Mariscal has described as “smoke”. Regarding the hydrogen pipeline, Ribera stressed that with this project Spain is anticipating Europe, rather than its use of renewable hydrogen. However, it has been recognized that the transport infrastructures of this type of energy have “very important” maturity periods.
The minister defends the government’s energy policy
Before the accusations by José María Figaredo, from Vox, of an increase in energy poverty in Spain, Ribera reminded him of the approval in 2019 of the energy poverty strategy, which includes various indicators such as the risk of hidden poverty.
In this sense, Ribera has defended that “everything indicates” that the indicators defined in this strategy “have remained stable or have decreased”. In short, the vice president has defended that in order to give serious coverage to energy poverty, a “progressive and progressive” fiscal policy is needed, where “whoever has more can contribute more” to be able to undertake the necessary social measures.
The minister has defended that the Government’s energy policy has made it possible to reduce the energy poverty data from June 2018 to December 2021. However, she has recognized that the data regarding delays in supply bill payments has worsened, which, however, are covered by active government regulation, as explained by Ribera.