Acciona President Jose Manuel Entrecanales stated that the company materialize the agreements reached in the Climate Change Conference in Paris.
“We share the objectives of COP21 and our business plan envisages investments of more than 2 billion euros up to 2020”, he said during the General Meeting of Shareholders held in Alcobendas (Madrid). “Renewables are already the fastest-growing form of electricity generation and show that they are increasingly competitive against conventional technologies.”
In his speech, Mr. Entrecanales pointed out that the 200-odd signatory countries to the Paris agreements made a commitment to cooperate actively and immediately in de-carbonizing the economy. This will mean, among other things, “that Europe and Spain need to carry out an in-depth review of the legislative framework for renewable energy sources to ensure that conditions are suitably stable and attractive for investment to return to the sector”.
For José Manuel Entrecanales, “in very general terms, this would basically involve modifying the design of the market to allow the full participation of renewables in all services, renewing financial support systems to attract investment and, at the same time, avoid measures that over-protect fossil fuel-based installations or distort competition”, pointing out that “above all, as an across-the-board measure of proven efficiency, the creation of efficient mechanisms to allocate prices to CO2 emissions”.
In this context, “our global presence and our geographical and technological diversification puts us in a strong position to take advantage of the global investment explosion in renewables that began in 2015”, Mr. Entrecanales said.
ACCIONA’s Energy Division ended 2015 with 40% of its electricity generation outside Spain, a total accumulated capacity of 8,619 MW and revenues of 2,719 million euros (+24%).
Today’s General Meeting of Shareholders was the first since the merger between ACCIONA Windpower and Nordex was completed. José Manuel Entrecanales expressed his satisfaction at the success of this operation, saying “it has allowed us to lead the necessary consolidation of the industry, creating a global benchmark in the wind turbine sector”.
Referring to the Infrastructure Division, the President of ACCIONA highlighted the results achieved in the process of integration of the Construction, Concessions, Water and Services business in the search for opportunities and synergies, with a major leap forward being made in international projection and contracting.
The division ended FY 2015 with a project portfolio of 6,722 million euros (+18%), of which 73% is international revenue.
As for Spain, Mr. Entrecanales considered that, despite the general perception that new investments are not necessary, the country is suffering a “very worrying” deficit in infrastructures and he called for public-private cooperation in the financing and development of projects. “While we are reasonably well-equipped with passenger transport infrastructure, there is a very worrying deficit in the fields of water, waste treatment, goods transport or social infrastructures. if we are to reach the level of countries like Germany, France, the United Kingdom or Italy”, he said, referring to several independent reports on the issue.
Mr. Entrecanales added that “the regulatory environment will once again be a key factor in solving these needs, which is why we need to work together in a new framework that would be capable of attracting the private sector to provide the finance that cannot be covered unilaterally by the public sector, naturally applying a shared criterion of social and economic profitability.”
The General Meeting of Shareholders approved the annual accounts and the Sustainability Report for 2015, as well as the re-election of two of its independent board members, Juan Carlos Garay Ibargaray and Belén Villalonga.
In 2015, ACCIONA invoiced 6,544 million euros with an EBITDA of 1,174 million euros (+8%). Net profit was 207 million euros (+12%). As a result, the Meeting approved the distribution of a dividend of 2.5 euros (gross) per stock (+25%).
Mr. Entrecanales mentioned that ACCIONA paid 958 million euros in taxes during the last financial year to different public administrations in the countries where it operates (+6%), almost five times its net profit.
Sustainability Master Plan
The President of Acciona also expressed a positive view of the successful conclusion of the Sustainability Master Plan for 2010-2015. “We have reduced our emissions by more than 40% over the period; we have increased our positive water footprint, multiplying it by more than six; we have increased the employment rate of people at risk of social exclusion by 13% and have exceeded the target for employing people with disabilities by 18%; we have invested 876 million euros in R&D+i, 75% more than the 500 million euros set as a target at the start of the plan, and we have saved 87 million euros by improving processes based on the innovations applied”, he said.
The company has already started work on the design of its new Sustainability Master Plan 2020 and has undertaken, within the framework of its participation in COP21, to be carbon neutral by that year.
The General Meeting was constituted with a quorum of 84.525% of the stock capital. All decisions were approved with at least 91.94% of favorable votes.