INNOVATION IN OUR BUSINESSES
We are the leading private utility in Europe and the second in the world by investment in R&D
Innovation is a strategic variable for the Iberdrola group and constitutes the main tool for guaranteeing the company's sustainability, efficiency and competitiveness.
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Thanks to a proactive strategy that cuts across all the company's business units and geographical areas, today Iberdrola is the leading private utility in Europe and the world's second by investment in R&D, according to the report The 2020 Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard by the European Commission.
The group has a new 2020-2023 R&D+i Plan and its strategy has been backed by the European Investment Bank (EIB), which has provided it with 100 million euros in financing to promote the development of innovative and sustainable technologies, aligned with the energy transition, decarbonisation and electrification of the economy.
This will include R&D in renewables, the production of green hydrogen and the development of floating wind and photovoltaic installations. It will also include the integration of clean energy into the system, through pumped hydroelectric plants and batteries. Iberdrola will also develop new solutions for customers, promoting energy efficiency and a more personalised service, as well as enhancing electric mobility. In this area, it will seek to enhance digitalisation, automation and cybersecurity, having committed to achieve, by 2022, 75 % of digitalised grids and 1,800 cybersecurity assessments per year, objectives that will increase to 80 % for digitalised grids and 2,000 assessments by 2025.
In 2020, Iberdrola invested in R&D 293 million euros, with an accumulated investment of more than 2 billion euros in the last decade, after increasing resources in this area by 115 % per annum. By 2022 this investment will rise to 330 million euros per year and by 2025 to 400 million euros per year. In recognition, in 2019 the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities bestowed the National Innovation Award in the Innovative Career category upon Iberdrola group chairman Ignacio Galán.
LEADERS IN SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION
The main innovation activities in the field of Renewables focussed on improving the efficiency of our working assets and associated processes, encouraging the integration of renewable energy —through different initatives linked to the field of energy storage— and reducing costs in the design and construction of the installations, principally in the field of offshore marine wind power in order to limit risks and guarantee their competitiveness.
Innovation activities in the Networks area are mainly concentrated on the development and expansion of smart grids, a technological evolution of the power distribution system that combines traditional with modern monitoring technologies, information systems and telecommunications.
Together with the digitisation of the distribution network, notable efforts have been made to offer a wide range of services to customers.
R&D Generation and Retail
R&D efforts in the Generation and Retail area are designed to bring about new developments that promote the flexibility, operational efficiency and safety of facilities, as well as reduce our environmental impact by implementing disruptive technologies and reducing emissions.
Work is also being carried out on the design of new products that ensure an efficient, fast and high quality service and which improve the customer's experience.
R&D in other areas
The Systems area continues honouring its commitment to developing innovative projects that make it possible to create value for the different areas of the company, enabling them to gain a competitive edge in the market and increase their productivity and efficiency in all the countries where we have a presence.
Some of the projects have received funding from official bodies. Access to outstanding information about all of them.
The provision of financial resources is aimed for the most part at projects relating to renewable energies, smart grids, digital transformation and developing tailored solutions for customers. The majority of R&D effort is based on five broad pillars:
entrepreneurs and suppliers
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The R&D efforts of the Iberdrola group are organised around five major themes, which are:
- New products and services that respond to our customers' needs with more personalised content and offers.
- Ever more efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly disruptive technologies that allow us to maximise the operation of equipment and processes and products and services, making them more innovative and competitive.
- Digitalisation and automation in all the businesses and processes to create value in our asset life-cycle management, optimise and add to the grid and design comprehensive services for the new digital customer base. The digital transformation will be based on new technologies, such as blockchain, Big Data, IoT, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, etc., at all levels of the Iberdrola group.
- Innovation with startups, entrepreneurs and suppliers. The Iberdrola group is a pioneer in encouraging innovation among start-ups, entrepreneurs and suppliers so as to develop new disruptive business models, promote knowledge exchange and act as a driving force for their employees.
- A culture of innovation and talent by transferring knowledge, attracting talent and promoting an entrepreneurial spirit.
The company is also collaborating with a number of universities and institutions in the universalisation of energy services, as well as in driving knowledge in specific scientific, energy and IT areas thanks to an open and de-centralised R&D management model.