Iberdrola, the world's leading private utility in terms of R&D investment

  • The company has committed to double its investment in Innovation, Development and Research (R&D&I) over the last 10 years, with the aim of reaching 4 billion euros by 2030

Iberdrola has been recognised, for the second consecutive year, as the world's leading private utility in terms of investment in Innovation and Development, according to the European Commission in its report 'The 2023 Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard' after allocating more than 360 million euros in 2022.

The European Commission has analysed the 2,500 largest companies in the world and the 1,000 largest in Europe. The company chaired by Ignacio Galán considers innovation to be a strategic variable for the Group and the main tool for guaranteeing the company's sustainability, efficiency and competitiveness.

Through the incorporation of new clean and efficient technological solutions, Iberdrola has become the driving force behind the energy model based on electrification. The company aims to exceed 4,000 million euros of investment in Innovation, Development and Research (R&D&I) activities by 2030. Thus, it will double its investment in this area by the end of the decade.

These resources are intended to be used primarily for projects related to renewable energy, smart grids, digital transformation, green hydrogen and the development of customised solutions for our customers. The aim is to accelerate decarbonisation by addressing not only the climate crisis, but also by improving energy security, competitiveness and sustainable job creation throughout the value chain.

Walking in innovation for the energy transition

The company has spearheaded the development of solutions that drive decarbonisation such as smart grids, with initiatives such as the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub. Located in Bilbao, the centre has become an international benchmark and will provide a response to the challenges of the energy transition. 

The centre acts as a driving force for innovation, combining the company's technological capacity with that of more than 80 collaborating entities and companies: suppliers, universities, technology centres and start-ups. It will also serve to attract strategic suppliers and international talent, thus strengthening the business ecosystem. The Hub has already identified more than 120 projects worth 130 million euros for the development of grid digitalisation solutions, integration of renewables, deployment of electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

In the area of networks, it also continues to incorporate digitalisation and artificial intelligence systems in transmission and distribution infrastructures in order to further increase security and quality of supply.

In renewables, it is worth highlighting the boost given in recent years to offshore wind energy, of which it already has assets in operation and under advanced construction in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. In addition, the company is opening the door to sites further offshore by enabling the deployment of wind turbines in larger and deeper offshore areas with greater wind potential.

Iberdrola is also committed to pumped hydro technology, the most efficient and mature system for large-scale energy storage. Iberdrola's leading position in energy storage has been reinforced with the commissioning of the Támega gigabattery, one of the largest projects in Europe in the last 25 years.

In addition, the company is leading the development of green hydrogen obtained from renewable sources, as well as its by-products such as ammonia and green methanol, to expand the frontiers of decarbonisation in sectors that are difficult to electrify. A new energy vector in which Iberdrola already has the largest plant for industrial use on our continent.

New technologies are also being explored in the recycling and recovery of wind turbine blade waste, and in agrovoltaics, which is based on the combination of renewable energies with agricultural and livestock farming practices. In addition, the company is fostering a culture based on creativity. To this end, the Innovation and Training Campus, a 180,000 m2 complex with state-of-the-art facilities in San Agustín del Guadalix (Madrid), has become the company's global centre for knowledge, innovation and employability. With close to 13,000 people receiving training in its classrooms every year, it represents Iberdrola's commitment to technology, R&D, and collaboration with technology centres as levers to lead the energy transition, the green recovery of the economy and employment, and the employability of young people and senior professionals in sectors of the future.

It has also continued to launch new competitive and intelligent products and services for customers, such as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Through self-consumption solutions, energy management, electric vehicles and heat pumps, Iberdrola enables customers to minimise the cost of their bills and their environmental impact while optimising comfort and maintaining control over their energy options and choices.