Iberdrola head he world?s largest RDI project into marine renewable energy

Iberdrola, along with 19 Spanish companies and 25 research centres, is heading a consortium which will develop the world’s largest RDI project into marine renewable energy. The Ocean Lider initiative boasts a budget of €30 million.

The aim of this three-year project is to develop the necessary technologies to set up integrated installations that can harness marine renewable energies, such as waves and tidal currents

Ocean Lider has received a €15 million grant from the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) and the Spanish government’s State Fund for Local Investment (the so-called Plan-E), along with the backing of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

In addition, given its strategic nature, this initiative and 17 others have been chosen from a total of 49 schemes submitted to receive funding as part of the Spanish Scientific Research and Technological Development Plan’s CENIT-E programme.

If forecasts are met, the results of the Ocean Lider project will have a significant economic, social and environmental impact and enable Spain to remain the global renewable energy leader, helping generate skilled employment and combating climate change.

It is also hoped this initiative will drive the development of new marine renewable energies by combining them with more mature energy sources, such as offshore wind power.

In addition to Ocean Lider, in 2009 Iberdrola embarked on a further 20 RDI projects covering all areas of the company’s business, particularly those with a higher technological component. The budget for these schemes totalled €8.3 million, 30% higher than the previous year.

The initiatives include developing capabilities in carbon capture: combined-cycle and solar thermal plants; streamlining power grid management; and enhancing the efficiency of the overall business, as well as of environmental and operational management.

These projects are in addition to a further 20 currently underway. In all, the 40 schemes are aimed at driving the development of all the company’s business lines, increasing the quality and efficiency in project execution and providing the necessary management and engineering tools.

By developing Ocean Lider, Iberdrola reaffirms its commitment to technological innovation in project execution in the 25 countries where it operates. Innovation has been -and still is- the company’s defining trait in all its energy engineering work in distribution networks, power generation, nuclear power and renewable energies.

Over the past few years, Iberdrola has emerged as one of the world’s leading energy engineering companies and become the group’s technology cornerstone, putting it at the forefront of innovation in the international energy sector.

Created in 1995 to group together and strengthen Iberdrola’s engineering and construction activities, the company has seen enormous changes over the last five years with the implementation of a new strategic plan aimed at expanding internationally and winning contracts from companies other than the Iberdrola, parent: its workforce has soared by 250% to 2,500, output has increased 4.5 times, the company’s project pipeline has quadrupled and its current EBITDA is 3.2 times greater than when it was set up.