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A hundred research experts in the field of energy economics analyze the challenges of sustainability (Symposium Energy sustainability and competitive markets)

 The UB’s Chair in Sustainable Energy (sponsored by Funseam and affiliated to the IEB) brings together some of the world’s leading researchers specializing in energy economics, including Juan Pablo Montero and Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga.


Nearly 100 researchers in the field of energy economics from various universities around the world (MIT, London School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Warwick Business School, UB, UAB, etc.) met this Tuesday in Barcelona to analyze questions related to energy sustainability including environmental policies and technological change; the greenhouse effect and Europe’s energy mix; competition and consumers and business strategies for global markets. They have been participating in the meeting: Energy sustainability and competitive markets, organized by the UB-IEB Chair in Sustainable Energy  and Funseam (Foundation for Energy and Environmental Sustainability).

The Minister of Economy and Knowledge, Andreu Mas-Colell, opened the meeting and reiterated "the Catalan government’s commitment to research and the knowledge economy", an option he considers "a long-term investment" at a time of "economic difficulty". Mas-Colell welcomed initiatives such as that of the symposium organized by Funseam aand the UB’s Chair in Energy Sustainability and offered it up as an example of the "vital partnership between the public and private sectors." The Minister was accompanied at the opening session by the UB’s Vice-Rector of International Policy, Maria Callejon; the President of Funseam, Antonio Llardén; the Director of the UB’s Chair in Sustainable Energy, Maria Teresa Costa-Campi and the Director of Barcelona Economics Institute, Martí Parellada.

The inaugural lecture was given by Professor Juan-Pablo Montero  (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and MIT). He is one of the world’s leading economists specializing in energy and the environment and his work is a point of reference in the field. Montero, an expert in energy and environmental regulation, analyzed future energy markets and their role as a competitive resource. According to his research, future contracts will have an impact on electricity markets, but not as great as we have been led to believe by traditional theory. It is for this reason, he concluded, that each market needs to be analyzed separately.

In his lecture, Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga (MIT and Comillas University) claimed that the strategy for achieving a model of sustainable energy "should be based on a detailed plan marking out clear objectives for the next 40 years and on quantitative analyses, a strong regulatory policy that guarantees the stability that can facilitate investment and the widespread adoption of renewable sources of energy". According to Pérez-Arriaga, only innovation and the right combination of competition and regulation can facilitate a paradigm shift and a new energy model. A former regulator both in Ireland and in Spain, Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga has had a long and distinguished career, and is the author of fundamental studies in the Theory of Electricity Regulation. As a member of the think tank, the European Energy Institute, he advises the EU and national institutions on their energy strategies.

At the closing ceremony, the Director of the UB’s Chair in Sustainable Energy, Maria Teresa Costa-Campi, praised the excellence of the papers presented at the symposium and announced her intention to hold the event annually.

The day long meeting forms part of the Funseam Symposium on Sustainable Energy (28-29 January) held at the University of Barcelona Science Park and organized by the Foundation for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (Business Meeting) and the University of Barcelona’s Chair in Sustainable Energy (Academic Meeting). Funseam is a not-for-profit organization that focuses its activities on ​​energy and environmental sustainability and which enjoys the support of a number of leading corporations: Repsol, Endesa, ACS, Enagás, CLH, Gas Natural Fenosa, FCC, Cepsa and HC Energia. With a mission of seeking to contribute to knowledge in this area, the Foundation sponsors the UB’s Chair in Sustainable Energy, affiliated to the Barcelona Economics Institute, and dedicated to promoting research excellence.