1. When and why is Progressum born through Bester?
Progressum was born in October 2012 in England, with the intention of arranging and managing our own portfolio of renewable energy projects globally, with the aim of Bester carrying out the EPC and the Operation and Maintenance of these projects. A complete “turnkey”, from the birth of the project to the maintenance of the project once completed. And in that birth is where I place Progressum; the development period extends from the processing of the project until the moment in which you can start to build, this last state we call “Ready to build” in our industry.
2. How many people make up the Progressum team and what would highlight this team?
Progressum has a multidisciplinary group of professionals composed of engineers, economists, lawyers, commercial and administrative staff, making viable the development of renewable energy projects at an international level.
Our team is supported by different types of financial, technical and legal advisers. I would emphasize the international management in different countries at the same time, with the complexity which that entails, because each country has different regulations, policies on renewable energy sources, procedures, etc. Sometimes we even have to differentiate regions within the same country. Therefore, it is necessary to have local advisors who support our team of qualified professionals.
3 In how many countries is Progressum currently developing renewable energy projects?
Until very recently we were developing in countries which had incentives to renewable; today the incentive has virtually disappeared. This is the cause why currently we select stable countries with scheduled auctions or with possibilities to sell energy to individuals, PPA´s (Power Purchase Agreement).
We are currently developing in Latin American countries. The opening of the energy sector to private and foreign investment in Latin America has attracted all the players of the sector at the international level.
Also we are opening up to the Middle East, where we hope to settle in the short term.
4. Is it very different to develop such projects outside Spain?
Once you understand the Protocol and are really in line with what the market requires, development as such is the same, it simply varies in small details depending on the country. In our case, we have a vast experience in testing countries that we see advantageous for different reasons, and fully analyze them to determine if it is really worthwhile to enter. Each time it costs us less to adapt to the different situations.
5. Is Progressum fundamental for Bester’s control of all phases of a renewable energy project?
We are talking about Bester, a group organized and distributed by departments in which each one contributes its bit, and Progressum brings the first phase of the project life cycle.
6. What do you consider the most difficult project phase to manage?
Development is complex since its inception up to the connection, and I would not discriminate any of stages of development. Identify strategic markets, location of the facility, permits, licenses and authorizations, identification of potential investors… This is crucial and very sensitive… Analysis of the project, which would be the technical due diligence, financial and legal diligence, confirming its viability to 100%, create the structure proper… All of these very time consuming and always paying attention to every detail.
7. What does an investor primarily want when developing these types of renewable energy projects?
There are few investors that are integrated and are committed to development, and as I have mentioned earlier, the development from its beginning until its end is complex and at the same time a risk that most investors are not willing to deal with.
Having said that, what an investor is always looking for is the perfect project in terms of profitability.
Progressum must be clear from the very first minute regarding all aspects so as not to lose sight of the goal for which it was created, which meets the objective of the investor, since if we develop a perfect project, the investor will bet on it, and will contract the EPC and O&M with group Bester.
8. What does Progressum offer to investors as a differential value?
Progressum is part of the strategic group of companies of the Group Bester, was strategically created to facilitate portfolio of projects to all of its lines of business, with different technologies: biomass, wind, solar and mini hydro. As such, Progressum developed to optimize and avoid future problems on work and maintenance.
Being able to be in the hands of the production team from the beginning is a great differential advantage, and to manage from the beginning the whole project as a whole, a complete turnkey, ensures the quality of the product to the customer.
9. Do you believe that renewables are the future?
Today we are seeing indexes that I personally thought I would never see. The trend seems to assure the profitability of this type of energies, which will suppose the day to day for my children. Six years ago the renewables looked a lot different than they look today. An example of this is to have reached the grid parity in many countries where the cost per MW was very high, and today a renewable energy project is as viable as any other conventional energy project, because clean technology produces electricity for the same cost to taxpayers as traditional technologies.
Similarly, concern over climate change, the need for a substantial reduction of CO2 emissions globally, and energy self-sufficiency will be determining factors in the future of renewables.
10. What do you predict for the future of Progressum?
Building on the team of people directly involved, together with the new global scenario, and taking into account that renewable energies have become a key tool for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we will not stop analyzing emerging markets.
Having a goal of continuously maintaining a portfolio of projects alive augurs a good future.