In the opinion of Agustín Delgado, Director of Innovation and Sustainability at Iberdrola, “innovation is the path that allowed Iberdrola to anticipate the energy transition and decarbonisation 20 years ago, investing in renewable energy and smart grids”.
The company chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán is already the utilities private sector that allocates the most budget in the world to R+D+i, according to the report The 2021 Industrial Investment Scoreboard, prepared by the European Commission. An amount that exceeds 2,000 million euros in the last decade; of them, 337 million invested in 2021, 15% more than the budget of 293 million allocated in 2020 for these purposes.
“Our goal for this decade is to use clean and affordable electricity for use in transportation or to air-condition homes without gas and generate green hydrogen for sectors that are difficult to electrify,” says Delgado.
In its progress in the implementation of smart grids, the cornerstone of the energy transition and in the digitization of the system, Iberdrola has developed the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub, a global center of innovation and knowledge that will be a world reference and will respond to the challenges of the energy transition. The hub acts as a driving platform for innovation, combining the technological capacity of the company with that of suppliers, universities, technology centers and startup. In addition, it will serve to attract strategic partners and international talent, thus reinforcing the business ecosystem.
This public-private collaboration space has more than 1,000 m² and is located in Iberdrola’s Larraskitu complex, in Bilbao. The hub It combines cutting-edge technology, research, training and entrepreneurship and has the latest developments in digitization, artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics, among other fields.
The energy company is the private utility that invests the most in R&D&i in the world, with more than 2,000 million euros allocated in the last ten years
The lines of work of the center will provide solutions to facilitate the integration of renewable energies and promote the deployment of electric vehicles, they will promote energy storage systems or the digitization of the distribution network with state-of-the-art telecommunications systems, such as 5G. Likewise, it will promote the transfer of knowledge through scholarships and postgraduate courses and will serve as a catalyst for business development through incubation programs and acceleration of startup.
Bet on green hydrogen
Iberdrola has also inaugurated the Iberdrola Innovation and Training Campus, a 180,000 m² complex with state-of-the-art facilities in San Agustín del Guadalix (Madrid). With more than 13,000 people receiving training in its classrooms annually, the campus represents Iberdrola’s commitment to technology, R&D and collaboration with technology centers as levers to lead the energy transition, the green recovery of the economy and the employment and employability of young people and senior professionals in sectors of the future.
Another Iberdrola initiative is the construction of the largest green hydrogen plant for industrial use in Europe. Located in Puertollano (Ciudad Real), it consists of a 100 MW photovoltaic solar plant, a lithium-ion battery system with a storage capacity of 20 MWh and has one of the largest hydrogen production systems through electrolysis in the world. world (20 MW). All from one hundred percent renewable sources.
Agustín Delgado explains that “green hydrogen is also a strategic commitment. To do this, we seek alliances to understand the value chains of products such as green fertilizers, green steel, green methanol. Also with suppliers, such as manufacturers of electrolyzers. All this translates into real projects, such as the hydrogen for buses in Barcelona or the plant in Puertollano”.
The first phase of the new Barcelona hydrogen plant has already entered into commercial operation, which will supply hydrogen in 2030 for up to 60 buses of Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona (TMB).
Part of Iberdrola’s investment is also channeled through the International Program for startup PERSEO, which aims to facilitate access to the technologies of the future and promote the creation and development of a global and dynamic ecosystem of technology companies and entrepreneurs in the electricity sector. Since its creation in 2008, PERSEO has invested more than 85 million in startup that focus on improving sustainability through greater decarbonisation of the economy.
360º vision of the business
Iberdrola leads a tractor project in artificial intelligence financed by the Next Generation Funds. Its objective is to develop technologies that extend the useful life of renewable generation facilities, increase the efficiency and sustainability of electricity networks and enable a new framework to accelerate the participation of consumers in the energy market.
With a budget of 16.2 million euros, it is the only energy proposal approved in the call for AI R&D&i Missions of the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence and it foresees the creation of more than 30 jobs. Indra and nine startups participate in the consortium led by Iberdrola. It also collaborates with seven research centers and universities: Tecnalia, BCAM, Granada University, Madrid Polytechnic, Salamanca University, Vicomtech and the Knowledge Engineering Institute.
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– Article Written By @M. I. R. from https://elpais.com/tecnologia/digitalizacion/2022-05-03/dos-desafios-para-una-decada-electricidad-limpia-y-asequible-e-hidrogeno-verde.html