By Anders Lorenzen
The Spanish energy giant Iberdrola group have taken another step on their mission to rid themselves of fossil fuel based energy.
The company, which is the biggest owner of wind power generation in Spain, has announced that their British subsidiary, Scottish Power, is to sell conventional power generation assets. This will make them the first large British energy provider to be 100% renewable and emission-free. The assets are being sold to the Drax Group, which operates the UK’s largest power plant. The assets are valued at £702 million which will free up Iberdrola to invest in more renewable energy projects in the UK.
They have said they will continue to add to their growing wind power portfolio which currently stands at 2.7 gigawatts (GW). They plan further renewable energy projects of 3 GW with the majority of this being offshore wind. One of them is the East Anglia One wind farm which is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by 2020.
Iberdrola says that the sale represents a further step in their commitment to move towards a decarbonised economy, where the electricity sector should play a key role. The group`s chairman, Ignacio Galán, said about its UK operations: “We will be investing £5.5 billion by 2022, primarily in increasing our renewable capacity, developing more and smarter grids and offering more personalised and efficient solutions to our customers”.
He further stated that it is crucial that energy companies play a role in adapting to a cleaner energy system, “The world is changing. The energy companies should be part of the solution to climate change and not part of the problem”
The sale of the UK assets follows the announcement made by the group early this year that they are to sell their gas storage facility in the US.
The Iberdrola group consists of Iberdrola in Spain, Scottish Power in the United Kingdom, AVANGRID in the US and Neoenergia in Brazil and Mexico.
The announcement of the sale of the assets follows the latest report on climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning that we have just 12 years to drastically reduce emissions in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.