RENEWABLE ENERGIES

Iberdrola, world leader in renewable energy

Iberdrola group started investing in renewable energy more than two decades ago as the foundations on which the build a clean, reliable, smart business model, making it today a global energy leader and Europe's biggest producer of wind power. On the same lines, the group has embarked on a historic investment programme up to 2025 through which it will channel over €34 billion into renewables, raising the installed capacity in this field to 44 GW by 2022 and 60 GW by the end of the period. This means that the company's clean energy facilities will by 2025 be split between onshore wind (26 GW), offshore wind (4 GW), solar (16 GW) and hydroelectric, both traditional and storage (14 GW).

The Renewable Energy area of Iberdrola groupIberdrola Renovables Energía, Iberdrola Renovables Internacional, ScottishPower Renewable Energy, Avangrid Renewables, the Renewables business of Neoenergia and Iberdrola Renovables México — is responsible for generating and marketing electrical power using renewable sources: wind (onshore and offshore), mini-hydro, solar thermal, photovoltaic, biomass, etc. Nowadays, Iberdrola is a leader in clean energy — it is the top renewable energy producer amongst energy providers in Europe —.

Of the €68 billion of organic investment for the group's ambitious plan for 2020-2025, over €34 billion (51 %) will be earmarked for renewables, raising its installed capacity to 44 GW by 2022 and 60 GW by the end of the period — compared to 32 GW at the close of 2019. This commitment by the group in favour of clean energy will allow it to give a major boost to offshore wind technology (4 GW by 2025), which provides five times the EBITDA/MW of solar photovoltaic power and three times that of onshore wind, as well as to extend solar photovoltaic (16 GW by 2025) and strength its leadership in onshore wind (26 GW by 2025) and hydroelectric (14 GW by 2025).
 

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Similarly, the company's estimates for the 2030 horizon show an increase in installed renewable capacity to 95 GW, having multiplied its onshore wind and solar power by 2.5, and offshore by 4.5.

To put its investment plan into action, Iberdrola is in a unique position, having one of the biggest renewable portfolios in the industry: a total of 70.5 GW distributed throughout its traditional areas — to which we can add new markets such as Australia, Japan and Sweden — and main technologies, jointly comprising 30.7 GW photovoltaic, 20.2 GW offshore wind and 16.3 GW onshore wind. Currently the company is progressing in the building of 7 GW and it will have up to 11 GW underway by 2025.

 

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NEW GROWTH PLATFORMS IN RENEWABLES

The group has completed 10 corporate operations to continue consolidating its world leading position in the renewables sector, particularly offshore production. The most recent is the partnership with Total to enter the Danish market by bidding in the tender for what will be one of the biggest offshore wind power complexes in the world, Thor, in the North Sea.

This operation comes after the purchase of 50 % of Polish developer Sea Wind, which has a pipeline of seven offshore projects with a potential capacity of up to 7.3 GW. The company will also promote the creation of a hub in the Baltic Sea, to act as the epicentre for offshore services and local content for its projects in the German, Polish and Swedish arena.

Earlier, the group acquired US electricity company PNM Resources, thereby creating one of the biggest companies in the US market with 10 regulated electricity companies in six states (New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Texas), and the third largest renewables operator in the country, with presence in a total of 24 states. It also purchased Infigen Energy, making it one of the leading operators in the Australian renewables market, and Japanese developer Acacia Renewables, marking its entry into the emerging Japanese offshore wind sector, to develop a 3.3 GW pipeline of projects.

Iberdrola also recently bought the renewable energy company Aalto Power to pursue its consolidation and growth in France, having already fully taken over the offshore wind farm of Saint-Brieuc. The group has also signed a majority investment in the company Svea Vind Offshore AB (SVO) for the future development of the largest offshore wind energy portfolio in Sweden, which comprises eight projects totalling 9 GW in capacity and means officially entering this new European market. Additionally, Iberdrola has strengthened its presence in Scotland by purchasing two new wind projects, while in Brazil it has acquired a portfolio of 400 MW of wind power.

 

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IBERDROLA GROUP'S MAIN RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS

Through its Renewables business, Iberdrola group manages different projects — under construction and operational — that stand out for their size and their commitment to innovation.
 

OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY

Offshore wind energy.
East Anglia Hub.

East Anglia Hub offshore wind complex

Comprising East Anglia ONE North, East Anglia TWO and East Anglia THREE, this 3,100 MW hub will be the biggest offshore project to date undertaken by Iberdrola.
Kitty Hawk.

Kitty Hawk offshore wind farm

Located off the coast of Outer Banks (USA), it will have a total installed capacity of 2,500 MW and will provide 700,000 households with clean energy.
Vineyard Wind.

Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm 1

Located off the coast of Massachusetts (USA), it will have an installed capacity of 800 MW and will supply over 400,000 homes.
Saint-Brieuc.

Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm

Our first big offshore wind project in Brittany, France, will have installed power of 496 MW.
Baltic Eagle.

Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm

This new 476 MW facility is our second flagship project in Baltic waters.
East Anglia ONE.

East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm

Its 714 MW installed capacity will provide renewable power to 630,000 British homes when it comes into operation in 2020.
Wikinger.

Wikinger offshore wind farm

Set in the Baltic Sea, this offshore wind farm supplies 350 MW of capacity to the German electricity network and covers demand from 350,000 homes.

ONSHORE WIND ENERGY

Onshore wind energy.
Oitis.

Oitis onshore wind farm complex

Consisting of 12 wind farms, it will have a installed capacity of 566.5 MW and will be our largest onshore wind farm project in Latin America.
Chafariz.

Chafariz onshore wind farm complex

Its 18 wind farms will add a total installed capacity of more than 565 MW, after its entry into operation in 2022/2023.
Cavar.

Cavar onshore wind farm complex

Located between Cadreita and Valtierra in Navarre (Spain), it is made up of four wind farms with a total installed capacity of 111 MW.
El Cabo and Amazon US East.

El Cabo and Amazon US East wind farms

Between the two of them, these onshore wind farms supply renewable energy to nearly 1.5 million homes in the United States.

PHOTOVOLTAIC ENERGY

Photovoltaic energy.
Francisco Pizarro.

Francisco Pizarro photovoltaic plant

With its 590 MWp of installed capacity, it will provide clean energy to 375,000 people a year and will be the largest photovoltaic plant in Europe.
Otero.

Otero photovoltaic plant

With 505 MW and located in the province of Segovia (Spain), it will be the largest in Castilla y León and the second in Europe.
Ceclavín.

Ceclavín photovoltaic plant

With an investment of €250 million, our third photovoltaic plant in Extremadura will have a total installed capacity of 328 megawatts.
Ciudad Rodrigo.

Ciudad Rodrigo photovoltaic plant

The Ciudad Rodrigo photovoltaic plant (300 MW) will consist of 826,200 solar panels and will generate up to 800 jobs in the peak period.
Lund Hill.

Lund Hill photovoltaic plant

Located in Klickitat (Washington) and with a installed capacity of 150 MW, the new facility will be the state's biggest solar project once it is commissioned in 2020.
Núñez de Balboa.

Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant

With 500 MW of installed capacity, this plant at Usagre in Badajoz province (Spain) will supply clean energy to 250,000 people.
Santiago and Hermosillo.

Photovoltaic power stations of Santiago and Hermosillo

With a total capacity of 300 MW, these photovoltaic plants demonstrate our commitment to renewable energy in Mexico.

HYDROELECTRIC ENERGY

Hydroelectric energy.
Támega.

Tâmega giga battery

Formed by the Gouvães, Daivões and Alto Tâmega plants, this 1,158 MW complex is one of the biggest energetic projects in Portugal's history.
Baixo Iguaçu.

Baixo Iguaçu hydroelectric power plant

It has an installed capacity of more than 350 MW and supplies renewable energy to one million people.

HYBRID ENERGY

Hybrid energy.
Port Augusta.

Port Augusta Project

This installation, which will include a wind farm and a photovoltaic plant with a total capacity of 320 MW, will be Iberdrola's first large-scale renewable energy development in Australia.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Green hydrogen.
Puertollano.

Puertollano Green Hydrogen Plant

It will consist of a 100 MW photovoltaic plant, a lithium-ion battery system (20 MWh) and one of the largest electrolytic hydrogen production systems in the world (20 MW).

 Learn about all the Iberdrola group's flagship projects

RENEWABLE ENERGY: THE ENERGY OF THE FUTURE

Driven by a firm commitment and a pioneer in renewable energies, Iberdrola group is in an unbeatable position to address the energy transition, decarbonisation and the electrification of the economy. To meet a growing global demand for energy and the imperative need to halt climate change, renewables are now established as the best option for the future of the energy sector. Let us tell you all about this type of energy.

WHAT IS RENEWABLE ENERGY?

Renewable energy is generated using natural sources that will never run out, because they contain a massive quantity of energy (such as the sun or the wind) or because they regenerate in a quickly (such as biomass).

THE FUTURE OF ENERGY IS GREEN

The world's population is projected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion by 2050 and exceed 9,700 by 2050; that's 20 billion more people than are alive now. Two thirds of them live in cities and living standards are improving as emerging countries join the global middle class.

All this means a higher worldwide demand for energy, which may increase by almost 50 % by the mid-century, according to the most recent report issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration [PDF] (EIA). Fossil fuels cannot satisfy this demand. Firstly, because it is estimated that oil reserves will be exhausted within 40 to 50 years and natural gas, within 60 to 80 years. Secondly, because fossil fuel combustion releases greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change, the main menaces to humanity in the 21st century.

In such a scenario, it is crucial to opt for safer, more plentiful and less environmentally damaging sources of energy. Renewables meet all three requirements, and are becoming the energy sources of the future.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RENEWABLE AND NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY

The main difference between renewable and non-renewable energy sources is that the former can produce energy indefinitely because these sources will never run out or renew themselves within a short period of time, while non-renewable energy reserves are limited because they run out when used or regenerate extremely slowly.

Another difference is that unlike non-renewable sources, renewable sources are highly sustainable and have minor environmental impact.

THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND HOW THEY WORK

 Wind power

It is a renewable, inexhaustible and non-polluting source of energy obtained by transforming the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity. There are two types, according to where the wind turbines are installed:

 

 Discover the Flagship project: R&D in floating offshore wind power

 Photovoltaic energy

Photovoltaic solar energy is renewable, inexhaustible and non-polluting, and is obtained by converting sunlight into electricity using a technology based on the photoelectric effect.

 Hydroelectric power

Hydroelectric energy is a renewable, emissions-free, autochthonous source that generates electricity using the force of falling water. This type of power generation can be divided into hydroelectric pumping stations, the energy storage method, which on a large scale is the most efficient in existence.

 Green hydrogen

Green hydrogen is based on the generation of hydrogen — an universal, light and highly reactive fuel — through a chemical process known as electrolysis. This method uses an electrical current to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water. If this electricity is obtained from renewable sources we will, therefore, produce energy without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

 Biomass

It is a source of renewable energy that produces electricity by burning natural organic material or organic waste from human activity.

 Geothermal

It is a type of renewable and inexhaustible energy that harnesses heat that radiates from the centre of the Earth using plants located on deposits. These may be hot water deposits, in which case the heat comes from layers of hot water flowing beneath the surface, or dry, which uses heat from rocks.

 Tidal power

An inexhaustible, non-polluting source of energy that converts the energy obtained from tides into electricity.

Other renewable energy examples are solar thermal energy — which uses the heat of the sun —, wave energy — which converts energy from waves — and ocean thermal energy conversion — which uses the ocean thermal gradient between cooler deep and warmer shallow or surface seawaters —. As well as these, more and more hybrid energy projects are emerging that combine different renewable generation sources to ensure a more stable, efficient supply.

ADVANTAGES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

As you can see, there are numerous types of renewable energy, but what do they all have in common?

  • They are environmentally friendly: most renewable energy sources do not generate greenhouse gases or other polluting emissions into the atmosphere, while others only emit the carbon dioxide required for their construction and operation.
  • They are limitless: we obtain them from inexhaustible or rapidly regenerating natural resources, so they can be used indefinitely and without limit.
  • They are safe: they do not entail additional hazards like nuclear power does, and they are simple to dismantle, so there are no waste management issues at the end of the facility's useful life.
  • They promote energy independence: because they use natural resources found all over the planet, countries and regions are able to develop their own technologies rather than depending on energy produced abroad.
  • They create jobs and boost the local economy: renewable facilities are labour-intensive to build, maintain and operate, which creates jobs and stimulates the national economy.

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Which are the benefits of renewable energy? [PDF]

THE IMPORTANCE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ITS ZERO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

According to the Renewable Capacity Statistics 2020 [PDF] published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable sources added the most capacity to the overall energy mix in 2019, in fact, 72 % of the new capacity installed during the year was renewable. So, at the end of 2019, renewable capacity grew to 2,537 gigawatts (GW) worldwide, doubling the capacity that existed a decade ago.

What is the most used renewable energy in the world?

Hydroelectric power has more installed capacity than any of the other renewable sources in the world. With over 1,310 GW, it accounts for 51.6 % of total renewable capacity. It is followed by wind power — with 623 GW, 24.5 % — and photovoltaic — with 580 GW and 22.9 %. However, in 2019, 90 % of the megawatts that came into operation were from wind and solar installations, reflecting low growth in hydroelectric power.

Which countries are the largest producers of renewable energy?

The 10 countries with the highest installed renewable capacity.#RRSSThe 10 countries with the highest installed renewable capacity.

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: The 10 countries with the highest installed renewable capacity [PDF]

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According to IRENA's Renewable Capacity Statistics 2020 [PDF], which includes data from 2019, the largest producer of renewable energy in the world is China, which has 205,232 MW of installed renewable capacity, accounting for 8.7 % of the world total (2,350,755 MW). The second largest renewable energy producer is the United States, with 127,418 MW (5.4 %). They are followed by Brazil (84,929 MW MW, 3,6 %), Canada (79,587 MW MW, 3.4 %), India (48,304 MW, 2 %), Russia (47,292 MW, 2 %), Germany (47,237 MW, 2 %), Spain (39,711 MW, 1,7 %), Japan (34,485 MW MW, 1.5 %) and Norway (30,082 MW, 1.3 %).

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How does renewable energy help curb global warming?

IRENA recently published its first Global Renewables Outlook: Energy Transformation to 2050, in which it argues that to overcome the health, humanitarian, social and economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, economic stimulus policies must be aligned with ensuring sustainability and strengthening resilience, and improving people's health and well-being. And this is only possible by investing in a green recovery to comply with global climate goals and decarbonise the economy.

To ensure that global warming remains well below 2°C during this century — in line with the Paris Agreement — the study sets out a roadmap for the energy transformation of our societies that includes a 70 % reduction in global energy-related CO2 emissions by 2050. And more than 90 % of that reduction would be achieved through renewables and energy efficiency measures.

The IRENA report also says that the transition to renewable energy sources will boost economic growth, create jobs, lead to cleaner living conditions and improve well-being.

How to promote the use of renewable energy?

Several international bodies, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), environmental organisations and numerous economists are proposing different mechanisms to encourage the use of renewable energies. Examples of this are environmental taxes and green bonds.

  • Environmental taxes are based on the principle that he who pollutes, pays. They tax behaviour that is harmful to the health of the planet, encouraging the use of renewable sources and energy saving.
  • Green bonds are a credit instrument aimed exclusively at financing sustainable projects, making them the ideal tool for obtaining funds to develop renewable projects.

THE BOOM OF JOBS RELATED TO RENEWABLE ENERGY