BILBAO, Spain – Energy transition truly represents a “remarkable opportunity” and Spain has an important role in boosting the European Union’s renewable energy potential, King Felipe VI of Spain told a WindEurope conference in Bilbao on 2 April.

“In our case, Spain may well have the greatest renewable energy potential in the EU. It has a geography of 50 million hectares…it has both Mediterranean and Atlantic winds, high levels of sunshine, large forests, and notable hydraulic resources. Lastly, a dense network of businesses and centres of technology, innovation, and knowledge,” Felipe said in his keynote speech at a packed auditorium of the WindEurope conference and exhibition in Bilbao.

Warning that the challenge of climate change is “very alarming,” he identified wind energy as a key part of the solution. “All of you here today represent part of the best response we can offer in the face of these existential challenges,” he said.

Felipe described the energy transition as “a critical vector of change; one that not only allows access to energy at affordable prices, but that also brings with it many opportunities in business, technology, and employment.”

Felipe emphasised the wind sector’s industrial footprint and the importance of R&D. He said wind is an important source of energy, transforming Spain, and Europe. “That Spain exports wind technology is a well-known fact, a sector with a significant value chain, in which research and development have placed us third among European nations in terms of the number of wind patents,” Felipe said.

“All of these allow me to say quite frankly that we should feel proud of these achievements, however not content. It may be so that many countries the world look over to Spain as a standard-setter of how to integrate renewable energies into the electricity networks, but we should not stop pushing even further in this and other areas to stay at the forefront of this global transformation,” Felipe said.

“Within Spain, the Basque country represents a clear and forward example of successful energy transition with a particular focus on wind power,” he added.