Xavier Farriols, Electrical Managing Director of Factor Energia: “The consumer is beginning to become aware of climate change”

Xavier Farriols will speak at Sustainable Brands Madrid 2018 about empowering consumers for energy transition. In this interview analyze the goals of climate change and efficient
What makes Factor Energia different from other electricity supply companies?
We make different the TRANSPARENCY, we are customer centric; and the MARKET KNWOLEDGE, We operate in the Spanish energy market since the beginning of market liberalization, twenty years ago, being the first energy operator independent of the state oligopoly.
We have always been close to the consumer; we know that what he needs is a competitive price but also the best service.

Why do you think green energy is no longer being promoted in Spain? Can it help that the Government has announced the removing of the ‘Sun tax” this year?
Spain suffered a serious economic crisis in the last ten years. The demand decreased rapidly and it was not necessary to invest in any new generation; a large number of the plants were stopped.
However, the situation has changed radically in recent years, recovering demand, and with it, the need to invest in new generation, in this case renewable energy.
The latest auctions of renewable energy promoted by the Government and the last PPAs signed and published among private companies, show greener futures in our generation mix.

In this sense, the more than possible elimination of the sun tax by the new government will represent a new impulse for solar generation, but we must go further, changing the market itself.

From your point of view, in which state we are in the fight against climate change?
We are right at the beginning, at least in Spain. The consumer is beginning to become aware of climate change, to assess the origin of the energy he consumes and to apply energy efficiency measuresin his home or business.
The challenge of climate change is huge and global action is needed to fight it. In this sense, it must be said that the nine objectives set by the European Union, despite some indecisions of the last hour, point in the right direction.
With regard to Spain, the situation is not so favourable.
It is necessary to indicate that, in the current situation, it becomes essential, a determined political action to carry out refills that allow these objectives to be achieved. Energy efficiency and renewable energies are key tools and public policies must be committed.

Has the Paris Agreement on Climate Change been the most important turning point for sustainable development?
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has been a turning point, but not the most important one. In our point of view, the main turning point is the empowerment of the consumer to become a key agent of the system and the true motor of the energy transition.
This is a fact that has already taken place in several countries of the European Union as well as in the rest of the world and that it is necessary that in Spain it is also a reality. Figures such as the aggregator of demand have to be instruments available to the consumer by request that this change occurs.
We have been fighting against climate change for decades, but now it is finally the time when the consumer seems to have realized that it is time to become aware and start acting.
In the case of Spain, we are at a critical moment, since it is necessary to change our regulatory framework to be able to fulfill all the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement.

You are as well the president of Clúster d’Energia Eficient de Catalunya (CEEC). How innovation is helping the fight against climate change?
Innovation, but in a collaborative frame is one of the main axes of the strategic plan of our Cluster. In this sense, our cluster has promote different projects aimed at strengthening innovation by our partners and the search for partnerships with other innovation chain agents both at the Catalan level and outside our territory.
Likewise, the cluster has promoted a project to support entrepreneurship in the field of efficient energy management in order to bring the new companies that are emerging in this sector into the consolidated business sector of our sector in Catalunya, favouring its interaction and the search for synergies.
One of the main tools in this politics is the existence of research centres in the Cluster that support us in leading public-private innovation projects that help accelerate the energy transition process.
However, the Cluster maintains a global vision of the transition process, not only must we innovate in technology, but we must also help to change the market and to make the consumers aware that the fight against climate change is in their hands.

At Sustainable Brands Madrid 2018 you will speak about empowering consumers for energy transition. How can this be achieved?
The only way is to explain with more transparency what climate change represents for us and for our children, and to try to make them aware that they are the engine of change and that we already have the main pieces in place to achieve it.

What role is the consumer playing in driving sustainability?
The consumer is the axis on which the energy transition must turn. However, we must not forget to give him tools to achieve it, not only technological innovation, but also economics, and for this he must participate actively in the market.

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