Iberdrola, a trailblazer in the energy revolution 20 years ago, sees the investments on economy decarbonization in an optimistic way. For the Spanish company, the prioritization of green and renewable energy sources and the electrification, i.e., the replacement of fossil fuels with electricity have leading roles in that movement. Operating in Brazil through Neoenergia, the group, which is currently the third largest public utility concessionaire in the world, invests on the expansion of the domestic wind generation portfolio.
The renewables represent 20% of the energy sector worldwide and, therefore, such percentage may increase after the investments in the next few years. In an interview to Financial Times, Iberdrola’s president, Ignacio Galán, highlighted the company’s trailblazing. “When nobody believed that electricity could be produced with clean sources and everybody was thinking coal would remain for centuries (...), and oil and gas were absolutely needed, we were the only one saying we can generate and produce electricity with clean sources. More electrification is going to represent a big growth opportunity.”, he said.
In 2020, Iberdrola made eight acquisitions in countries, such as Australia, France and Japan. The latest one was made last week, in the United States of America, where it acquired PNM Resources for USD 8.3 billion and will become one of the three largest renewable energy operators. For Galán, the economic rebound after the crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic may be an opportunity to promote a change of the green energy direction.
The group’s goal is the neutrality of carbon emissions by 2050, contributing to the combat against climate changes. Currently, about 66% of Iberdrola’s generation capacity is comprised of green energy, focused on wind energy. The wind energy has a leading role in the investments in Brazil. By 2022, when the construction of Chafariz (PB) and Oitis (BA and PI) complexes should be completed, Neoenergia will triple the installed capacity for wind energy, amounting to 1.6 GW – equivalent to the supply to a population of 10 million people, an approximate number to the population of Portugal. In September, the company also acquired pipeline projects with 400MW capacity in Bahia, an asset that will be strategic for its generation potential, the location and the schedule of development.
“The world has been making a very clear choice, the companies are migrating to a sustainable production chain that undoubtedly needs green energies in its base. We expect 2021 to be the engine of the electrical energy and, in that regard, it is important to keep an offer for renewables at reasonable prices and focused on sustainability. The renewable sources, particularly wind and photovoltaic, have been showing in Brazil a very high degree of competitiveness”, Neoenergia’s CEO, Mario Ruiz-Tagle, said.
The projects under development by the company point out towards the new business model, more targeted to free energy market. At Oitis Wind Complex, 96% of the capacity of 566.5 MW will be traded at free market and, in Chafariz, it will be 39% of the 471.2 MW. From such total amount, 67.6% were already sold at Free Contracting Environoment (ACL) for 2022, year in which the operation of both complexes will beging, assuring the profitability of the new farms.