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Essay 4: The Union and The Energy:

octubre 25, 2013

From the perspective of the labor unions in Spain, mainly UGT and CCOO, we do have a stance, a position to defend regarding the energy policies. Policies that the government should consider implementing as soon as possible. After revising the overall situation that Spain lies on in respect to this subject, we have come to certain conclusions:

There has been a big boom in Spain in the last years regarding the implementation of the alternative ways of producing energy, mainly, but among others, the solar energy, the wind energy, the hydraulic energy. This boom has been caused, between other reasons, by the amount of government premiums given to companies that invested in this sector. These premiums were created to incentive an actual creation of alternative energy in Spain, but by this system the industry has apparently ‘overheated’. The amount of grants the government made has caused a relaxation in the sector, contributing to prevent lowering production costs, for example. There must be a stable growth of the alternative energy industry, that guarantees proper useful research, responsible financial management and a lower dependence on governmental help.


On the other hand, an equilibrium must be maintained. Everyone knows that the future of the whole earth is compromised, and that this feeling must be addressed on specific measures. This equilibrium consists on lowering the subsidies the government gives on order to promote efficiency, but on the other side, not lower it to the extent of destroying the industry of the renewable energies. If there is an excessive cut to this industry, the companies that form it could be forced to shutdown as they are very vulnerable because of their dependance of the subsidies. This companies, and thus, the thousands of workers that occupy this sector must not saved.

Regarding the traditional ways of producing energy, we must note that it still accounts about nearly the half of energy produced in Spain, and must not be tried to eliminate at once for the sake of the environment. First of all, the nuclear powered energy accounts for the 20% of the total energy produced in Spain, and is a rather clean, stable and powerful energy source. Within the union we do not only plead in favor of this type of electricity production, but we are positive too that the debate over the generational succession of the old power plants regenerates. When it comes to the natural gas powered plants, we stand for a gradual limitation in its future consumption, due to the dependance of other countries, to low prospects of future technological breakthroughs , the high emissions of CO2 and the also high supply cost.

The carbon based energy is a very important source, and the only fossil based energy production that Spain can supply itself in a big part. It has played and continues to play an important economic and social role to the country. The closing of the Asturias on behalf of the so called ‘overwhelming costs’ is an important setback that would provoke more dependance on other countries, eliminate the mining industry of Spain, its technologies and know-how, and eliminate thousands of jobs of people who have nowhere to go. Carbon based energy production must stay.

We finally argue that there must be: a significant increment on the money invested by the state on new technologies regarding the new alternative sources of energy, that there must be defined a clear and understandable tariff policy. Also, new infrastructures and transport networks must be built in order to absorb the new sources of energy disseminated on the territory.

Eduardo Collin Hernández

1º ELG


Essay 4. Energy Policies.




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