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Iberdrola Shaking Up Energy Market

Spain is one of the countries that was particularly hard hit by COVID-19. In addition to the overburdened healthcare sector, the economy is also facing major problems due to the lockdown. Spanish energy company Iberdrola is trying to counteract this with investments worth billions.

Iberdrola sees itself well positioned, even in the COVID-19 crisis (Image: Iberdrola)Iberdrola sees itself well positioned, even in the COVID-19 crisis (Image: Iberdrola)

It was an important signal in the middle of the biggest crisis: At the beginning of April, Spanish energy company Iberdrola invited to a virtual annual general meeting. And the almost 600,000 shareholders got a foretaste of what has been implemented at a rapid pace ever since: CEO Ignacio Galán announced to accelerate the planned investments of the company. In concrete terms, this means that Iberdrola is trying to bring at least half of the 9,000 megawatts of new capacity currently under construction actually to start to work this year. This includes 30 solar plants, 50 onshore wind farms and new offshore wind farms in France, Germany and the U.S.

Galán also announced that last year's investment record will be beaten again with a new sum of more than 10 billion euros. For example, orders worth more than 3.8 billion euros for thousands of suppliers have already been brought forward in order to provide the supply chain with capital.

Iberdrola stated to be completely ready "...to perform its role of locomotive as soon as we come through the current situation, at which time turbo-charging economic activity and jobs are going to be more necessary than ever. This activity will also have a very notable effect on public finances, benefiting all the citizens of the countries where we are present," Galán (pictured left, image: Iberdrola) said at the time.

In the meantime, more and more relaxations are coming into force worldwide. Since then Iberdrola has been working flat out to make their announcements reality. Over the next four years, the company will invest between 3 and 4 billion euros in France in order to continue to grow in the field of renewable energies. This includes the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm, which, as things stand at present, will be the first major offshore project in the country to go into operation and is now fully owned by Iberdrola.

And there's a lot of construction going on in Spain. Last week, the Cavar wind farm cluster in the Spanish region of Navarra became the first large wind project to be commissioned in Spain since the health crisis. Just in time for World Environment Day, Iberdrola thus made progress on the road to green recovery after the COVID-19 crisis.

The Group also places their investments on the other side of the world: Australian project developer Infigen has announced that Iberdrola is planning a friendly takeover. With the purchase of this listed company, which operates more than 670 megawatts of wind energy and has a portfolio of 1 gigawatt of projects at various stages of development, Iberdrola will become market leader in the South Australian region with almost 1,000 MW, measured by installed capacity.

Meanwhile, the next mission has been scheduled: to ensure that Europe implements the Green Deal as a way out of the crisis. The calculation is simple: "For every job created within our sector, 12 more are created in sectors such as construction, manufacturing of capital goods, engineering and installation services and machine tools," says Ignacio Galán.

The energy industry should thus get the engine running to lead the way out of the crisis. The money is available, it just needs to be spend. Hopefully other companies will follow Iberdrola's path.

Katrin Radtke
Iberdrola, Spain, energy market, investment, France, offshore, onshore, portfolio, Australia, Infigen, friendly takeover, corona, COVID-19, billion, operation

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