During the 26th British-Hispanic Tertulias taking place in Bilbao
  • This honorary award, bestowed by HM Queen Elizabeth II on recommendation of the British Government, recognises services rendered to the United Kingdom and its people
  • The Chairman of Iberdrola confirmed its commitment to “continue building bridges between Spain and the United Kingdom and strengthen economic, trade and cultural ties between both countries, based on cooperation and mutual trust”
IBERDROLA chairman, Ignacio Galán, was invested today by the British Ambassador in Spain, Simon Manley, as Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

This honorary award, bestowed by HM Queen Elizabeth II on recommendation of the British Government, recognises the important role played by Galán in the development of the UK's energy industry and strengthening trade and investment links between the United Kingdom and Spain.

During his acceptance speech at the 26th British-Hispanic Tertulias, taking place in Bilbao, the Chairman of Iberdrola reiterated his determination to continue working for the good of the United Kingdom and the intensification of its bilateral relations with Spain.

“Today I commit to continue building bridges between Spain and the United Kingdom and strengthen economic, trade and cultural ties between both countries, based on cooperation and mutual trust” said Galán.

Ignacio Galán explained that the integration with ScottishPower in 2007 became the first significant decision towards Iberdrola's international growth that he took after joining the Group. He also highlighted that, today, over 30,000 people work for the Group in the UK -including employees and suppliers- and that “we now supply electricity and gas to over 5.6 million customers -in Scotland, England and Wales- through 75,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines and 35 power generation plants, with wind playing a key role since we are the UK's leading wind energy operator” and “we manage assets valued at over €23 billion”.

Finally, Galán said “since the integration with ScottishPower, we have invested over €9 billion in the United Kingdom and we plan to invest another €13 billion by the end of this decade” in the framework of “our strong commitment to guaranteeing energy supply in a country requiring large energy industry investments, thus contributing to its social and economic development”.

IBERDROLA projects in United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, IBERDROLA currently faces a period of growth in the transmission and distribution business and renewable energy projects, both onshore and offshore. To this end, the company plans to invest €4,000 million in the country over the 2014-2016 period, representing 41% of total Group investments, which will create 4,500 new jobs in the coming years.

The Company currently operates 6,460 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity in the UK, of which over 1,600 MW are renewables, while servicing more than 5.6 million electricity and gas customers. IBERDROLA´s major projects being undertaken include:
  • The first subsea electricity connection between Scotland and England, a 420 kilometer submarine transmission cable, being built jointly with National Grid and scheduled for commercial operation in 2016. This will increase bi-directional electricity transmission capacity between these countries by more than 2,000 MW. This new, cutting-edge power link involves an investment of about £1,000 million pounds.
  • Offshore wind development, with the creation, in early 2010, of an Offshore Business Division based in London and Glasgow to channel project development in several European countries. In the United Kingdom, the West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm, the Company's first worldwide, will be officially opened in the coming days.

About Ignacio Galán

Born in Salamanca (Spain), in 1950, Ignacio Galán is married and father of four children. He graduated in electromechanical industrial engineering at ICAI; he also holds a diploma in Business Administration from ICADE, and in Business Administration and Foreign Trade from the Industrial Organization School (EOI) in Madrid.

Ignacio Galán's work has been instrumental in modifying the profile of the companies he has managed, transforming them into bigger, more profitable, more efficient and more international corporations, with IBERDROLA being the best example.

Ignacio Galán's appointment in 2001 as executive vice-chairman and CEO of IBERDROLA marked the beginning of one of the most important and successful business transformations in recent Spanish corporate history. His commitment to international expansion and clean energy has enabled IBERDROLA, with presence in 40 countries and more than 28,000 employees, to become the leading Spanish energy company, the world leader in wind power and one of the largest European energy utilities by market capitalization.

Among others, Ignacio Galán was awarded the following acknowledgements:
  • Best Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in European utilities (buy-side analysts) in the 2013 and 2014 All-Europe Executive Team ranking, issued by Institutional Investor Research Group.
  • Best European utility CEO, and best CEO among Spanish-listed companies for investor relations, by the 2011 Thomson Extel Survey.
  • Best European Utility CEO in the 2011 All-Europe Executive Team ranking, issued by Institutional Investor Research.
  • 2008 Business Leader of the Year by the US-Spain Chamber of Commerce.
  • 2008 International Economy Award from the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation.
  • 2006 Best CEO of the Year in the Platts Global Energy Awards.
  • Best European Utility Top Executive by the Institutional Investor Research Group five times in a row (2003-2007).
  • Best CEO in Investor Relations (2003-2005) by IR Magazine on three successive occasions.
  • Member of GlobalScot, a worldwide network of individuals, under the auspices of the Scottish Government, seeking to develop and expand Scotland's standing in the global business community.
  • Consul of Bilbao by that city's Chamber of Commerce, an institution dating from the 16th century. 
  • Gold Medal by the Province of Salamanca in 2009.
  • Lagun Onari distinction as friend of the Basques bestowed by the Basque Government in October 2011.
In addition to being a founding patron of Fundación IBERDROLA, Ignacio Galán is a member of the board of trustees of the following organizations: Príncipe de Asturias Foundation, COTEC Foundation, Carolina Foundation, Comillas-ICAI University Foundation, Aspen Institute Spain Foundation, Royal Elcano Institute and the Prado Museum's Royal Board of Trustees. He also belongs to the Society of Basque Entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneur Society of Madrid, the Economy Society and the Association for the Advancement of Management (ADP). Ignacio Galán is also a member of various international organizations, among which the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) and Magritte Group, and chairs the World Economic Forum's Energy Utilities Community.

In June 2011 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. In December 2011 he received an honorary doctorate by the University of Salamanca in recognition to his capacity for innovation, managing change and strategic vision throughout his professional career. In 2012 he has been appointed chairman of the University of Salamanca's Social Council. In February 2013 he received an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow. He is also a visiting lecturer at Strathclyde University and he has been a lecturer at ICAI's Industrial Engineering College.