February 1, 2022

Meet the Team – Francesc Filiberto

MEET THE TEAM – FRANCESC FILIBERTO

  1. What is your role in BNZ?

I am currently Head of Business Development, leading the project development activities of the company. I have also been acting as interim Managing Director for the last year until January when we hired our new Managing Director.

  1. How long have you been working in the renewable energy sector?

I started back in 2006, creating my own company of project development and construction management. I was new to this industry and started as an entrepreneur. It was a big move.

  1. How do you think the solar industry has changed in these years?

This industry has undergone a substantial change. In the EU, the share of renewable energy more than doubled between 2004 and 2020. Only 15 years ago, renewables were a residual technology and relatively expensive, FIT schemes were needed to convince both large plant investors and household owners. Today, new energy capacity installed is mainly driven by solar and wind technologies.

  1. What are the main challenges for the solar industry in the coming years?

The solar industry has overcome the production and costs challenge proving it can be competitive. The next challenge we have in the coming years is how to integrate this technology. First, from the grid perspective. Renewables are intermittent by nature, and they need support like storage. But the most important challenge is the integration in the local communities, so the solar plants can be perceived as a positive impact and not as a threat to the local community.

  1. What does BNZ have that its competitors don’t?

BNZ’s DNA is to work closely with locals so that our projects contribute to the benefit of the local communities where they are installed, from an environmental and social perspective.

  1. How do you see BNZ in 5 years?

We will become a leading solar energy producer in the south of Europe, mainly Italy, Portugal and Spain.

  1. Which countries are making greater efforts for solar energy?

The top countries, of course, are China, USA, Japan, India, and Germany. But in our area of influence, Italy, Spain and Portugal are making strong movements in that direction, too.

  1. What would you ask public administrations to promote this type of clean energy?

Public administrations are trying to regulate renewable energy projects with tenders, either energy price or capacity.  But I am convinced that the most urgent task for the administrations would be to better regulate the area selection in order to find the most suitable sites for solar and wind projects, with the involvement of local authorities and communities. It doesn’t make any sense to obtain environmental approval from the regional or national authorities and at the same time to have local opposition to the project.

  1. And the citizens?

We all citizens have also a responsibility, we want clean energy but not in our backyard, and this needs to change. We all need to assume this responsibility.

  1. What do you do in your day to day to reduce your carbon footprint?

We take a lot of decisions on a daily basis that impacts our carbon footprint. From the food and clothes we buy, the way we recycle waste, the way we travel. One thing very important to me is the environmental education of our kids. Future generations have to do this differently.

 

In-Depth

  • A hobby: Paragliding, not practising it anymore, but it was part of my life for a few years, and sometimes I would love to fly again.
  • A country to travel to: Italy, it is impossible to get bored in Italy.
  • A city to live in: I don’t like big cities to live in, but if I ever had to choose one, it would be Barcelona.
  • An animal: The wood frog from Canada. What this animal does in winter is a biological miracle. Wood frog spends the winter frozen! They become active again early in spring.
  • A movie: Mountains of the moon.
  • A book: Beneath the wheel, by Herman Hesse.
  • A type of cuisine: Valencian cuisine, of course. We Valencians are very extremist on this.
  • A historical figure: Bach, for me the ultimate composer. His influence goes beyond classical music.
  • A colour: Green, what else?

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