A few days ago, we brought you the news of the astonishing €75 billion investment that Iberdrola, the global company headquartered in Bilbao, has planned for the next five years.  This investment will be focused on the development of renewable energies, which will make up the bulk of that investment, to the tune of €68 billion.

This amount, which when split into annual payments is larger than the budgets of a good number of countries, is meant to situation this power company at the vanguard in its field; they surely also seek to become role models with this investment.  Iberdrola is the third largest corporation in its sector in the world, so we’re sure that this effort will improve their ranking.

And back in September, we found out that Bilbao was to become the home of their new Global Smartgrid Innovation Hub.  This news now becomes even more relevant today within the framework of the news of this investment.

The hub will act as a platform to push innovation, combining its technological abilities with those of suppliers, collaborators, and startups across the world.  The hub will open in the spring of 2021, and already more than 120 innovation projects have been marked for future development, with a total value of €110 million.

Around this hub, 200 professionals will develop R&D&I projects related to the challenges facing the networks of the future: digitalization, data, and answers to new models of consumption, such as electrical mobility and self-supply.  So, they’ll be more focused on acting at the heart of an energy and economic revolution that is already underway.  This change of model will profoundly affect Basque society, and we need to adapt urgently.

In the last article, the one we referred to at the beginning of this article, we complained, perhaps with a bit of bitterness but still correctly, about the almost unstoppable magnetic strength Madrid, the Spanish capital, has in the national economy, dragging to it all the companies or initiatives that might be in any way interesting.

Iberdrola is not immune to that power, as it is a leading global company, and we Basques have noticed how, slowly but surely, the company’s strategic centers, like many other companies’, were moving to Madrid.

But that is not the case of this innovation center.  And we’re sure that it didn’t end up in Madrid thanks to the effort and perhaps even “struggle” of Basque institutions, who have managed to secure this project in our country.  Special thanks are due to the Government of Biscay, led by Unai Rementeria.

This announcement reminded us of the creation of the Bahías (Bahía Gas and Bahía Electricidad) in the Outer Port of Bilbao, to which some were fiercely opposed, claiming that it was being built to serve as a NATO naval base, but now it has become a key part of the Basque economy.

And we were reminded of this because public opinion did not see the strategic importance of this move, or of the later construction of the Boroa power plant.  Now, to understand it, one simply has to look at the income these facilities produce, or to the energy independence they grant to us Basques.

Our future as a country, as we never tire of repeating, involves providing high-quality education and training to our citizens, committing our companies to stay as a part of our country, and ensure that those Basques that we’ve invested in stay here, working hard to make the Basque Country stand out in innovation and become a role model for the world.  This project, possibly the most important (though perhaps no the “flashiest”) of those promoted by Asier Alea in his time at the Government of Biscay, fits in perfectly with that “virtuous circle”.

Energy Live News – 23/10/2020 – Great Britain

Iberdrola launches global smart grid innovation hub in Spain

Iberdrola has announced the launch of a new centre designed to support cutting-edge projects in smart grid technologies that benefit local industries and promote global innovation. The Global Smartgrid Innovation Hub, located at the company’s Distribution Operation Centre in Bilbao, Spain, will act as a platform for driving innovation, combining its technological capabilities with that of suppliers, collaborators and start-ups from across the world.

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Smart Energy International – 26/10/2020 – Sudáfrica

Smart grid innovation hub launched by Iberdrola

Electrification across sectors such as transportation and the incorporation of more renewables are demanding growing investments in distribution networks. Iberdrola’s new Innovation Hub located at the company’s Distribution Operation Centre in Bilbao is planned to drive innovation to meet the challenges that are arising.

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Header photo: the General Deputy of Biscay, Unai Rementeria, and the president of Iberdrola, José Ignacio Sánchez Galán, visiting one of the Basque company’s facilities