If you have any questions about the event please do not hesitate to contact us: supportingteam@winworld.pt




11 March 2024

EDP Business Summit 2024: How to make the world a better place through my business

Lisbon has witnessed an important event for companies and customers that aims to contribute to offering solutions to end climate disruptions. This new edition of the EDP Business Summit exposed the reality facing the world and proposed a portfolio of solutions to transform the production model of companies.

"The world has finally witnessed a historic agreement to move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, a crucial step towards tackling the current climate crisis." With this phrase, a declaration of intent, the EDP Business Summit was kicked off by Vera Pinto Pereira, executive board member of EDP. The annual event, which highlights the important role played by companies in curbing climate change, has once again highlighted the urgent need to take concrete and collaborative action to tackle this global challenge.

This new edition of the EDP Business Summit was based on the importance of transforming the current production model into a more sustainable system. And after Vera Pinto Pereira, Andrew Winston, entered the scene to propose the following debate: "Is the world better because your business is in it?".

The need to embrace real change through renewable energy

Winston shared some images from cities such as Los Angeles and Paris from the lowest pollution day in the last decade. Two of the pictures showed a blue sky with a total absence of the smoke blanket that usually accompanies cities like Madrid or Barcelona. Both were taken at the beginning of April 2020, when the first containment measures for the coronavirus began to be implemented.

It's a fact: the transition to renewable energy sources will determine the quality of life of current and future generations. And companies must be at the center of the energy transition, because without them there is no transition towards a process of electrification of the economy. Therefore, one of the goals of this new edition of the EDP Business Summit has been to raise awareness among the main leaders of the public and private sector to commit to sustainability as a fundamental part of their business strategy.

During his presentation, Winston launched several data that orbit the debate initiated at the beginning. The first has to do with the growth of inequality registered in recent years: 10% of the population will have nearly 80% of the wealth. The second concerns the forecasts launched by the reinsurer Swiss Re: if the climate neutrality objectives are not achieved by 2050, the global GDP of the economy will fall by 18%.

The cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action

The event continued with this maxim. Duarte Bello, CEO of EDP Renewables for Europe and LATAM; Giles Dickson, CEO of Wind Europe, and Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric, addressed in their speeches the importance of democratising access to renewable energy sources from companies that produce and supply clean energy such as EDP, but also from the different administrations to streamline bureaucratic processes.

During this panel, Duarte Bello pointed out what are, in his opinion, the main challenges that prevent a faster development of renewable energy: licensing for new renewable projects and grid capacity. The CEO of EDP Renewables stressed that, in the face of the first challenge, the tools are available to overcome it with joint collaboration. Regarding the limitations in the connection to the grid, Duarte Bello said that it is currently "a bottleneck and is not enough to face the challenges of future objectives in the field of renewables". To this end, he said that EDP "is making a commitment to artificial intelligence and digitalization, as they allow us to make smarter use of the grid and a more effective and efficient use of resources, optimizing time and reducing costs".

One of the goals of the Green Climate Pact  includes reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2040, as well as promoting the electrification of transport and residential heat, as well as electricity generation from renewables. But experts have acknowledged that, although there has been progress in terms of energy, the current state is still quite far from the objectives set by the European Union.

In addition to analyzing the current context, Ruby placed special emphasis on the participation in achieving these objectives. The measures proposed during his presentation are based on three fundamental pillars: energy self-sufficiency, the electrification of vehicle fleets and the commitment to emission-free energy for subsequent storage.

Decentralization of energy generation, key for countries such as Spain

During the event, the speakers continued to analyse the energy situation in countries such as Germany, where there are one million points of energy introduction into the electricity grid. The fact that this event was held in Lisbon is no coincidence either: Spain and Portugal are the regions with the highest number of hours of sun in Europe, so their commitment to renewable energies, such as solar energy, should be marked as an imperative.

As of today, Spain has an installed capacity of 1,706 megawatts (MW) of solar self-consumption and an annual increase of 23.3% is expected, reaching 82.2 gigawatts (GW) by 2027. Spain's revised National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), subject to validation by the European Commission, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2030. It also seeks to increase the contribution of renewable energies to 48% of final energy consumption, with the goal that these sources generate 81% of electricity by the same year.

EDP's solution for change is clear: diversify energy sources and decentralize their generationEDP's as-a-service model that makes its implementation possible, which has already been widely accepted in other countries such as the United States, is a solution for those companies that cannot afford to assume the costs of installing this type of platform for self-supply.

Finally, John O'Donnell, CEO of Rondo Energy, and Miguel Fonseca, member of EDP's Management Team, highlighted the various competitive and economic advantages for the industrial sector of joining this energy transition: job creation, acceleration of reindustrialisation, attraction of investments, etc. If we talk about operational aspects, the constant flow of supply ensures the proper functioning of the factories, in addition to the reuse of the energy stored through thermal energy batteries, such as those of Rondo Energy, a company with which EDP announced the start of a partnership in Europe during the event.

EDP, a leading partner for companies on the road to sustainability

During the closing of the EDP Business Summit 2024, the various solutions that the company offers to contribute to a sustainable future were highlighted. Figures such as Pedro Vinagre, CEO of EDP Renewables for Northern and Central Europe; Bruce Douglas, CEO of the Global Renewables Alliance and David Post, CEO of EASE (European Association for Energy Storage), discussed the technologies that are reshaping the energy landscape such as hybridization, a technology in which EDP is a pioneer, or agrivoltaics, in which the company is beginning to make a big bet. The roundtable served to reaffirm EDP's commitment to this cause, announcing an investment of no less than 25,000 million euros until 2026 to install more renewable energy for households and businesses.

To date, the company has already installed 1.7 GWp of solar distributed generation capacity worldwide. In addition, EDP has nearly 3,500 electric charging points for sustainable mobility contracted in our country, which include both public and private spaces. Among its customers are companies such as Decathlon, with more than 400 throughout the country; Ahorramas, with 450 charging points; and Pretroprix, with whom it will collaborate to deploy the largest network of ultra-fast charging points for electric vehicles in Spain. The latter is also a project funded by the European Union - NextGenerationEU, through the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan).

Spain, Europe, and the world have a unique opportunity to act to control the alarming effects of climate change. Accelerating the global energy transition is in our hands, as was evident at EDP Business Summit 2024. We must take a step forward, both at government and business level, to collaborate in the transformation of the energy system and adopt the latest technologies and business models that are committed to the future.

If you have any questions about the summit please do not hesitate to contact us: business.summit@edp.com

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