“Iberdrola will grow and continue to invest and increase dividends”

“Our shareholders can rest assured; we will continue to invest and continuously increase results and dividends,” says Ignacio Galan, President of Iberdrola.

TO Ignacio Galan, President of Iberdrola, he is considered the dean of Spanish managers at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “I’ve been coming here for almost twenty years,” he says in an interview with EXPANSIÓN in the Swiss town where he is based.These days celebrate this event, considered the largest political, financial and business meeting in the world.

Galan takes to Davos like a duck to water. Last year he used this forum to announce mega-alliance with the Norwegian state fund Norges develop renewable energy, marking a before and after in the history of the company and industry, opening the race for partnerships. This year Galan is full of joy. Iberdrola Exceeded its growth and dividend targets significantly ahead of schedule strategic plan for 2023-2025, and on March 21 it is proposed to update it and launch a new roadmap.

Three axes

“In just over two months we will present a new plan,” Galan says. “Our shareholders can be confident that Iberdrola will continue to invest and grow its results and dividend on a sustainable basis.”

There will be a “clear strategic axis:to electrification using renewable energy, grids and storage systems“. And on the other hand, “the social axis: creating value for society in the form of fewer emissions, better prices and better services, greater energy security and more activity and employment.” To achieve all this, “it will need to continue to invest heavily, always taking care of our balance,” explains Galan, who insists on his two fetish words: “electrification” and “renewable energies.”

More renewable energy

“Electrification using renewable energy equals energy and economic efficiency. for all consumers,” he comments. “According to the research we are doing, if in Europe we double the share of electricity in final energy consumption in 2050, increasing from 20% to 40%, we will automatically achieve 30% energy efficiency. , that is, we will consume 30% less energy without reducing activity.” Why? “Because the combustion processes that fossil fuels are based on involve energy loss.” “To reduce overall consumptionSo there are two actions that can bring immediate benefits: the first is replacing fossil fuel power generation technologies with renewable energy sources. And one more thing: expanding electrification to many other applications. For example, in transport or home air conditioning, where heat pumps provide more than 4 times the efficiency of a gas boiler.”

More networks

But for Galan, beyond electrification and renewables, there is now another component to the equation. “What we need is energy system able to deliver reliable and competitive energy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This requires networks, as well as storage facilities with batteries and gigabatteries, that is, pumped hydroelectric power plants. “The pump allows us to store large amounts of renewable energy during periods when there is more sun and wind and less consumption, so we can use it later when it is needed most.” If everything is combined, it is acceptable for Galan. triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030. “It’s ambitious but achievable.”

“Year after year, the pace of installation of renewable energy sources exceeds all expectations. In 2023, 500 GW of renewable energy will be installed, almost 10 times more than 15 years ago. We have technology, knowledge, as well as investment opportunities. More funds every day. They are betting on this sector,” and points to Iberdrola’s own case with Norway, as well as the one it later signed with Masdar. The electricity system has solutions to integrate these renewable energy sources “thanks to smart grids and storage, and Spain is an example in this sense.”

“Now, not in 30 years”

“This year here (in Davos) we are talking about how to solve four great problems: geopolitical, economic, environmental and social.” And “bet on sectors that can respond to them.” “Not in 30 years, but today.” Electrification using local renewable energy sources “increases the strategic autonomy” of the country, he argues.

No to fossil fuels

“The solution to every crisis is to focus on its root causes, in this case dependence on fossil fuels,” says Ignacio Galan when asked to diagnose what Davos called “permacrisis” (a permanent state of crisis in economy, for various, seemingly unrelated reasons). “Only by avoiding dependence on fossil fuels can we reduce volatility, improve energy security and the balance of payments, and increase competitiveness.” In other words, “benefit consumers.” And to do this, “we must electrify with more renewable energy, more electrical networks, more storage and more green services and products,” explains the Iberdrola president.

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