Spain's Iberdrola to Spend $182B by 2030 to Triple Renewable Capacity


Europe's biggest wind power generator Iberdrola on Wednesday pledged to spend 150 billion euros ($182.39 billion) by 2030 to triple its renewable capacity and double its network assets.

Years of investment in low-emission generation and power grids has set the Spanish group up to benefit as global economies accelerate a pivot away from fossil fuels toward renewably-sourced electricity.

It plans to operate 95 gigawatts (GW) of clean power capacity by 2030, up from 35 GW at the end of 2020. The International Energy Agency estimated total global renewable capacity hit 200 GW last year.

Iberdrola pledged last November to spend 75 billion euros on generation capacity, networks, and its client business between 2020 and 2025. The new target, which includes that commitment, is in line with a planned investment by European leader Enel.

Chief Executive Ignacio Galan said the group is talking to U.S. President Joe Biden about how to improve the rollout of turbines off the country's windy coastlines.

With two-thirds of group earnings coming from outside Spain, Iberdrola also plans to bid in offshore wind auctions in Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, and Japan in the next 18 months.

It did not detail how it would finance the extra investment, but previously indicated it would turn to corporate and hybrid debt to help finance the 75 billion euro commitment.

Under the investment plan, the value of the networks that generate around half the company's core earnings will double to 60 billion euros by the end of this decade.

Iberdrola's shares were 2.4% higher by 1145 GMT, a touch lower than at the same time last year. Their value has still more than doubled in the past five years, outstripping a 30% rise for European utilities.

Full-year net profit rose 4.2% to 3.61 billion euros, meeting an average forecast provided by the company, even as fallout from the pandemic weighed on electricity demand.

Galan said the high fees paid by would-be developers at auction earlier this month for rights to lease seabed around Britain benefited Iberdrola as they would boost the value of the company's planned projects.

Iberdrola proposed paying 0.44 euros per share in dividends in 2021, up from 0.42 euros per share in 2020. 

($1 = 0.8224 euros)

 (Reporting by Isla Binnie, Editing by Ingrid Melander, Kirsten Donovan)

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