Royal visit with green transformation in focus

The kings of Spain and Sweden received a concentrated dose of facts about green energy and tips for a successful transformation of society at a seminar hosted by IVA, who recently presented advice for Europe's energy transition in a report to the European Commission, as part of the EU Commission's Science Advice Mechanism. 

“People in Sweden and Spain have a lot in common. Both work hard and are engaged in creating a better future for coming generations,” said IVA’s Chair Carl-Henric Svanberg when he welcomed the kings to the event.

At the seminar, which was part of the programme for the Spanish state visit, the audience heard Swedish and Spanish insights on the status of the green energy transformation.

Teresa Riesgo is Secretary General at Spain’s Ministry of Science and Innovation.

“Disruptive solutions are not always the most important thing. A comprehensive approach to the challenges is, on the other hand, essential, as are all forms of cooperation,” she said.

Filip Johnsson, a professor at Chalmers University of Technology, pointed out that the volume of renewable energy has increased significantly over the past 15 years. Despite this, fossil fuels remain at the same level.

“We’ve not succeeded in putting a proper price on emissions,” he said.

But he also stressed the fact that Spain and Sweden have good potential to increase the amount of green energy they produce; Spain has the sun and Sweden has the wind.

A Swedish-Spanish panel with representatives from green industries and the EU’s European Institute of Innovation & Technology gave the heads of state some ideas for areas their respective governments should focus on.

The green taxonomy and the importance of looking at entire value chains were among them, as were creating new markets for green products, raising the price of emissions and ensuring fair competition between different solutions. If we do all this, green technology will win in the end.

In the photos: Their Majesties the King of Spain and the King of Sweden; EU Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Manuel Albares; Diana Morant Ripoll, Spain’s Minister for Science and Innovation; Sweden’s Minister for Environment and Climate, Per Bolund; Tuula Teeri, President of IVA; Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chair of IVA; Teresa Riesgo, General Secretary for Innovation, General Secretariat for Innovation – Ministry of Science and Innovation. IVA Fellows: Filip Johnsson, Professor of Energy Technology at Chalmers University of Technology; Martin Pei, EVP and Chief Technology Officer at SSAB; Diego Pavia, CEO of IOT InnoEnergy and Johan Kuylenstierna, Chair of the Swedish Climate Policy Council; Maria Åstrand, Vice President Active Materials, Northvolt and Javier Goñi, CEO Fertiberia. 

Read the report "A systemic approach to the energy transition in Europe" here.