The GPEX News team caught up with Santi Martínez Farrero, Chief Executive Officer, Estabanell Energia ahead of the Global Power & Energy Exhibition (GPEX) on 17-20 September 2018. Santi Martínez Farrero will be speaking at the GPEX Summit in the panel discussion on "Adapting the energy industry to new digital technologies."
GPEX News: Can you tell us a bit more about Estabanell Energia, and how the organisation is driving the energy transition in Spain?
Santi Martínez Farrero: Our company was established in 1880, and since then it has gone through a number of industrial and social changes. The current key challenge is decarbonisation, particularly in the energy sector.
Unfortunately, the domestic regulation in Spain has not been favourable for the existence of a number of prosumers. We are preparing our procedures and grid for the growth of the distributed injection of electricity generated from renewable resources, however, the impact is still very limited. Our vision is that the customers will go for a more self-sufficient generation system, thanks to the belief that sustainability is essential. We must be there to facilitate the transition.
GPEX News: Estabanell Energia has a smart grid programme, could you tell us more about it and why you think it is important?
Santi Martínez Farrero: We are setting up a six-year programme for changing all internal procedures;
This will allow us to digitalize the distribution business in all senses, covering our internal procedures and our external relationships with any kind of stakeholder.
A DSO cannot continue to only focus on the electrical quality of service. The society will soon ask for connectivity, data management and energy services, and we must not wait until we are forced to do it. We must take the advantage and lead the changes on behalf of our customers.
GPEX News: What would you say are the key challenges of the transition to a low-carbon energy system?
Santi Martínez Farrero: The main challenge for a DSO will be the ability to maintain the grid stability, regardless of the unpredictability of the renewable energy sources distributed across the grid. The key is the decision to reinforce the existing grid, to create a new grid, or to implement new digital devices based on power electronics and artificial intelligence to manage the distribution grid. This will allow the transition to a Smart Grid at the service of the prosumers.
GPEX News: Where do you see your business in the next 5-10 years?
Santi Martínez Farrero: We think that in 5 years we will be a digital company and more customer-centric. Customers seem to be away from the focus of the DSOs, but the decisions of the DSOs must be customer-centric, facilitating them to ensure the connectivity to the grid for a number of new electric devices. Being the link between the customer and the aggregator will provide them with new services and incomes.
GPEX News: You will be speaking at the GPEX 2018 Summit next September, what do you expect the outcomes of the event to be?
Santi Martínez Farrero: At GPEX we expect the key outcome to be the transfer of knowledge; educating on the next step in the evolution towards a digital world. I look forward to hearing the expert knowledge on the market at the event and learning more from other speakers.
Santi Martínez Farrero
Chief Executive Officer