JUAN JOSÉ SÁNCHEZ

Spain 2021 | GREEN ECONOMY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Juan José Sánchez, Business CEO of Capital Energy, about the company's mission, strategies for the future, and dealing with competition.

Capital Energy, founded in 2002, describes itself as the first vertically integrated 100% renewable electricity company on the Iberian Peninsula. What is its mission and vision?

Our mission is to make a decisive contribution to an ecological and just transition of both our economy and society through the energy sector transition under way. The five values that define Capital Energy are commitment, innovation, agility, digitalization, and sustainability. Within this mission, our vision is to become a leading 100% renewable energy company and an integral part of the entire value chain of the sector.

What have been the main milestones for Capital Energy over these past 20 years?

The company has gone through several phases. It was founded in 2002 as a developer of offshore wind energy. It then moved into different technologies, keeping pace with the evolution of industry regulation and policy. In 2008 and 2009, regulatory changes led to an effective moratorium on new renewable developments. Up until that point, the company had been growing on the development side. It was able to put several renewable projects into construction and operation, though these regulatory changes meant that a large part of its portfolio became unviable overnight as these technologies were not competitive at the time. In 2015 the company renewed intensive investment in new developments and professional talent, anticipating the needs of the market, and in 2018 it opted for a more ambitious strategic design change, more aligned with the industrial and long-term vocation of our shareholders to move toward integration across the entire value chain. Since then, growth has been exponential.

What is the strategy of Capital Energy for the future?

We have developed a huge development portfolio, both in terms of the number of projects and the potential megawatts to be installed. We have a solid positioning distributed across the territory. We also have a highly diversified portfolio in terms of technology that focuses primarily on wind power, but with a significant contribution to growth coming from solar PV, especially through hybridization. We are also taking our first steps in new technologies like energy storage and green hydrogen production. Leveraging on this, our strategy is to create value in the long-term in a sustainable manner, moving ahead with all these projects, building them and keeping most of the assets in operation. We will manage their energy output in an integrated manner, both in wholesale markets and in the retail market, capturing most of the value along the chain and leveraging on our digital capabilities. We are currently studying all the options available to raise the additional capital we need to this end in the most efficient and prudent manner.

What is the intention of Capital Energy regarding the European Next Generation funds?

We are highly active, as we have presented more than 40 initiatives of varying kinds. Some are related to renewable hydrogen generation, and others to the field of digitalization and communication systems associated with our portfolio of renewable assets.

The renewables sector is currently one of the most attractive though also extremely competitive. What sets Capital Energy from other companies?

Our foresight has given us a leading position on the development side, with one of the largest portfolios and a differentiating factor in terms of our technological offer. Initially, we based our growth on wind power technology, and this sets us apart from the whole market. We have also focused on the Iberian market, which is one of the markets with the greatest potential. All this is in addition to an integrated model, end-to-end which is unique, and a team of highly-experienced professionals from the sector that we have brought together to carry out this project.

What is the Portuguese market like for Capital Energy?

We are following a similar business model in Portugal to the one in Spain. We are seeking to develop a portfolio of greenfield assets and exploring various options offered in the Portuguese market. Our project in Portugal is less mature than in Spain, but we are generating a portfolio of more than 40 projects.

How has the pandemic affected Capital Energy, and what strategies have been adopted?

From the beginning, the objective of the company was to ensure the health of all our people and stakeholders associated with our business. Under that premise, we adapted our processes and operations, leveraging on our digital capabilities to ensure that we continued to push the business forward. Once these two areas had been secured, we also pitched in to alleviate, as far as possible, the negative effects of this crisis. We purchased medical supplies for distribution to various medical and geriatric centers. We also helped to promote the development of OxyVita, an innovative low-cost respirator. Together with other energy developers, we launched the Energía Positiva Call to support startup ventures that had projects that would help alleviate, at least in the short term, the impact of the pandemic in terms of energy and sustainability. The renewable sector has shown great resilience within this framework and has become one of the driving sectors of today's economy.

What is the main objective for Capital Energy for 2021?

The main objective is to continue to accelerate the company's business lines. We will build and put into operation more projects and attract more customers. We will continue to contribute to sustainable growth and prosperity in the areas where we operate. This is a crucial year for Capital Energy since we will finish laying the groundwork for the next three years, which will be the most intensive in terms of capital and asset construction.