Roberto Arranz Cuesta has been the Head of the Environmental Department at Red Eléctrica de España since 2007. He is in charge of the territorial development and introduction of new transport network facilities, the management of environmental matters related to maintenance activity of the network, and development of all requirements of the Company Environmental Management System.
1) REE is RGI's newest member. Why did you choose to become a part of RGI?
REE is the Spanish TSO and it is our duty and responsibility to build and maintain facilities that allow the maximum integration of renewable energy sources and ensure the security of supply at the lowest possible cost to consumers, with absolute respect for the environment. To achieve this challenge it is necessary to actively involve different stakeholders and especially environmental organizations. In this sense, RGI is a privileged platform for dialogue as well as ways of addressing and disseminating best practices in the development of projects.
2) What are the three major developments in the electricity sector in Spain at the moment and what are their national and European implications?
The Iberian Peninsula is almost an electrical island despite the recent commissioning of a new interconnection between Spain and France. Increasing said electricity exchange capacity with Europe and achieving its integration into the EU electricity markets are some of the most important challenges for REE, with evident implications at the European Union level.
3) And what are the biggest challenges and opportunities for REE at the moment?
Designing and building new electrical energy infrastructure for the interconnection with the electricity systems of neighbouring countries via submarine lines or land interconnections. Said infrastructure requires that it be recognized as European Projects of Common Interest and be granted funding in accordance to its importance and associated cost overruns. This new infrastructure is essential for the development of energy coming from renewable sources in the Iberian Peninsula, and of paramount importance for the rest of Europe.
4) What do you expect the Energy Union to deliver?
Greater security and independence of supply; more affordable energy for consumers; more solidarity between EU member states when facing and tackling emergency situations; greater and more effective demand participation in the electricity market; increased energy efficiency; effective market development supported on international exchange levels that are sufficient; etc.
5) REE is part of the Advisory Board of BESTGRID, an EU-funded and RGI-led project that works towards modernizing and expanding the current European electricity grid. The project is soon coming to a close. What is your résumé so far?
I believe this project sets a milestone as it is the first time that common practices of different companies in the electricity sector and environmental organizations are pooled. This generates a collaborative working environment that favours the development of best practices and boosts knowledge exchange between NGOs and TSOs.