#electrical network #R&D #employment #renewable energy #SDG
Iberdrola is strongly committed to industry, innovation and infrastructure and contributes directly to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 9. The group is committed to accelerating its investments in renewable energy, digitisation and electric mobility to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation.
SDG 9 is about the need to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. To achieve this, industry is expected to contribute more to employment and GDP, doubling this contribution in the least developed countries, as well as increasing scientific research and modernising infrastructures.
A total of 2.2 billion people do not have access to drinking water and almost a billion live without electricity around the world — 840 million, according to data from the World Bank in 2020 — which represents over 10 % of the world population. However, on the subject of communications infrastructure more than half the population is connected and almost everyone in the world lives in an area with mobile phone coverage 96.5 % had 2G as a minimum — according to the UN SDG Compliance Progress Report in 2020 —.
According to the UN, industry, innovation and infrastructure are the three main pillars of sustainable development. They are also essential for business and therefore for social and economic development. The UN goes on to explain that, for example, every job in the manufacturing sector creates 2.2 jobs in other sectors of the economy.
Economic growth, social development and action against climate change depend to a large extent on investment in infrastructure, sustainable industrial development and technological progress. But basic infrastructures, such as roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electricity, and water, continue to be scarce in many developing countries.
In its 2019 report on progress in meeting the SDGs the UN remarked that investments in research and development reached $2 tn in 2016, a huge increase compared to the $739 bn for 2000. However it warned that industrialisation in the least developed countries (LDCs) is too slow to reach the target for 2030. The aggregate industrial output per capita in the least developed countries was $114, whilst in Europe and North America it reached $4,938. Moreover, the medium/high and high technology sectors made up 45 % of the world aggregate industrial output (2016), while the proportion was only 15 % in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Nevertheless, if world manufacturing growth had already decreased even before the COVID-19, pandemic, it is now much more critical, since the crisis brought about by the virus has severely affected manufacturing industry, causing interruptions in the value chains and in product supply. This situation is especially serious in countries in the process of development, where manufacturing jobs represent an essential source of income. The devastating effects of COVID-19 threaten to halt or even reverse all the progress achieved thus far in relation to SDG 9, the UN warns.
Progress can only be achieved with advancements in technology, and this requires the promotion of sustainable industries and investment in scientific research and innovation. The existence of roads in good condition, reliable electricity, good sea and air connections, as well as a universal Internet connection, are the measures recommended by the UN to remedy this situation.
Facing the current situation and reversing the trend that these data reflect has become a primary objective at international level. This is why building resilient infrastructures, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation became SDG 9 of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, approved in September 2015 as part of 2030 Agenda.
SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Keys to understanding the lack of R+D investment in the world [PDF] External link, opens in new window.
The specific targets set for 2030 are:
For Iberdrola, rolling out reliable, resilient, high-quality and sustainable infrastructure, means moving forward towards the green economy. For this reason it is committed to accelerating its investments in renewable energy, digitalisation and electric mobility as a path towards economic recovery and employment in the wake of COVID-19.
The company is poised to be a driver of jobs and growth, promoting inclusive and
sustainable industrialisation and seeking to significantly increase industry's contribution
Thanks to €47 billion of investments, the company will make around 12,000 new hires
by 2025, supporting more than 500,000 jobs by 2030 along its value chain. In addition,
it has committed to increase the presence of women in relevant positions to 35% by
2030 and to 43% on the Board of Directors.
Iberdrola is the leading private utility in the world by investment in R&D. In 2021, the company made investments in R&D totalling 337.5 million euros, giving an accumulated investment of more than 2 billion euros in the last decade, after increasing resources in this area by 15 % compared to the previous year.
World leader in smart grid technology. In recent years, the group's distribution companies have deployed nearly 15 million smart meters — out of a total 21 million planned by 2025 in the markets where they operate — and have adapted the electrical infrastructure that supports them by adding remote management, supervision and automation capabilities.
Iberdrola has started up what will be the largest green hydrogen plant for industrial use in Europe, with an investment of 150 million euros.
Global Smartgrid Innovation Hub: Iberdrola has created a global smart grid innovation center to respond to the challenges of the energy transition and lead innovation in electricity distribution networks.
One of the companies that most support startups in the whole of Europe, through the PERSEO international programme, endowed with 70 million euros to which is now added another 40 million aimed at launching — with its Perseo Venture Builder unit — innovative industrial companies working in new areas of electrification and in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise.
We lead in the transition towards sustainable mobility thanks to our Sustainable Mobility Plan, with over 20 measures.
Suppliers Innovation Programme to promote the joint creation of businesses and facilitate access to finance mechanisms.
Development of new products for customers with more functionalities, such as Bizum payments and the ability to manage products and services, as well as the creation of new apps, such as the first collaborative charging app for electric vehicles for individuals.