Iberdrola has submitted a photovoltaic panel manufacturing project to the third call of the Innovation Fund, the European Commission’s grant programme for the demonstration of innovative technologies to reduce emissions.
The manufacturing plant will have a production capacity of 1.6 GW per year, equivalent to 3 million panels, and could cover a third of the current demand for such equipment in Spain.
A significant part of the production of these panels will be installed in Extremadura itself, as it is the leading region for this technology in Spain with a market share of around 25%. This new industry will boost local economic development with the creation of 500 direct jobs.
This initiative will require European funding to ensure its competitiveness. It could be framed within the ‘Net Zero Industry Act’, the package of measures recently announced by the European Commission to strengthen the resilience and competitiveness of emission-free manufacturing technologies in Europe, as well as to ensure a more secure and sustainable energy system.
This new programme is inspired by the US Inflation Reduction Act. Specific support for the manufacture of photovoltaic panels is still to be finalised and could provide the economic support for production needed to make local manufacturing of essential components for the energy transition competitive.
Commitment to innovation and industry
The opening of this new factory in Europe responds to Iberdrola’s interest in achieving competitive manufacturing at the European Union level and in seeking solutions on the continent to achieve greater energy self-sufficiency and lower emissions by investing in renewables, grids, storage, and green hydrogen and supporting the development of innovative industrial companies.
Thanks to a strategy of anticipation, which transcends all the company’s business units and all its geographical areas, Iberdrola is today the private utility that invests most in R&D worldwide, allocating more than €2 billion in the last decade. Along these lines, the company plans to exceed €4 billion of investment in Innovation, Development and Research (R&D&I) activities by 2030, doubling its investment in this area by the end of the decade.
In 2008, Iberdrola created its PERSEO programme to promote the development of start-ups and innovative industrial companies working in new areas of electrification and in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise. Since its creation, it has invested €175 million in businesses that develop innovative technologies, focusing on those that improve the sustainability of the energy sector through greater electrification and decarbonisation of the economy.
Extremadura, a spearhead
Extremadura plays a key role in Iberdrola’s renewable expansion in Spain. In total, the energy company has more than twenty renewable facilities in the community with an installed green power capacity of more than 4,000 MW, of which 2,000 MW correspond to the 12 solar plants it has in operation in the region.
The region is also of particular importance to the company in its development of hydroelectric power. In Extremadura, it has eight hydroelectric plants with an installed capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy.