The Chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, took part today in Bilbao in the lecture series ‘Looking out on a digital world’

Without electricity, the digital transformation will not be possible

Ignacio Galán

CEO of Iberdrola

  • At the University of Deusto he emphasised that digitalisation, in which Iberdrola is investing around €5 billion euros between 2018 and 2022, “is going to be a key factor in the energy transition process”

“As sophisticated as concepts like the Internet of things, robotics, artificial intelligence and big data may be, none of their functionalities will be possible without a reliable infrastructure that provides the power they need to operate. Without electricity, therefore, there is no digitisation”, said the Chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, during his lecture today in the series Looking out on a digital world, organised in Bilbao by the Deusto Forum and BBVA.

Galán, whose lecture was entitled Digital transformation and energy transition, emphasised that “we, electricity companies, are facing the challenge of electrifying a new era, the digital era”, the cornerstone of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution.  

Therefore, “the availability of electricity under optimum conditions of security, sustainability and competitiveness is once again a vital factor in achieving solid, inclusive economic growth,” he said this morning at the University of Deusto.

The Chairman of Iberdrola highlighted the fact that “beyond covering additional demand for energy, the key to making this transformation possible will be rolling out sufficiently advanced, smart electrical infrastructure.”

In addition, Ignacio Galán noted that digitisation, to which Iberdrola plans to allocate some €5 billion between 2018 and 2022, “is also going to be an essential part of the energy transition process”, which involves electrifying the economy to bring about urgently needed decarbonisation.

According to Galán, this will be the only way to “make the required reduction in our carbon footprint compatible with covering a demand for energy that will grow by 30% in the next 25 years”. The answer will come from “clean generating technologies, smart grids and energy storage, together with an increase in energy efficiency”.


“Digital transformation, an opportunity”

The chairman of Iberdrola stated that “at Iberdrola we see digital transformation as a real opportunity to create value” and he gave specific examples of the positive effects of the new technologies on all areas of the company’s business.

In the area of generation, Galán explained that “100% of our generation assets (48 GW of capacity, of which around 30 GW renewables) is already managed digitally and automatically”, which helps with operations and preventive maintenance while improving the security of the system.

Also, thanks to the implementation of smart grids, the company “can operate the network instantaneously, automatically and remotely which gives us a heads-up on possible incidents and helps to resolve them with greater speed and efficiency”. For example, the digitalisation of Spain’s distribution network through the STAR project – an investment of €2 billion – has meant that quality of supply is three times higher than in 2001”.

In retail, by analysing Big Data, “we are constantly developing new products and services and trying to anticipate the needs of our increasingly demanding and proactive customers [customised plans],” he explained.

In this context, Ignacio Galán mentioned Iberdrola’s special commitment to electric mobility. “We are already setting up 25,000 electric vehicle charging stations all around Spain, both in homes and on the roads, and we are offering our customers smart charging solutions with 100% renewable electricity, at a 10th of the cost of traditional combustion engines.

“Thanks to digitalisation, we are offering the most reliable service just when our increasingly inter-connected customers are depending more on electricity to go about their daily activities,” the chairman of Iberdrola concluded. 


About Iberdrola

Iberdrola is a global energy leader, the number one producer of wind power, and one of the world’s biggest electricity utilities by market capitalisation. The group is present in numerous countries and supplies energy to over 100 million people mainly in Spain, the United Kingdom (Scottish Power), the USA (AVANGRID), Brazil (Neoenergia) and Mexico. With a workforce of 34,000 and assets in excess of Euros 113 billion, it posted revenues of 35.0759 billion euros and a net profit of 3.014 billion euros in 2018.

Iberdrola is leading the transition towards a sustainable energy model through investments in renewable energy, smart grids, large-scale energy storage and digital transformation, offering the most advanced products and services to its customers. Thanks to its commitment to clean energy, Iberdrola is one of the companies with the lowest emissions and an international benchmark for its contribution to the fight against climate change and for sustainability.