Spain Power Grid Can Feed 10 Million Electric Vehicles

A gradual buildup of an electric car fleet will help the European Union to reach its targets for greenhouse gas emission cuts and renewable power penetration, Galan added. Galan spoke during a meeting with European Union competition ministers in the northern Spanish city of San Sebastian.

The EU targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions until 2020 by 20% from 1990 levels, and wants renewables to provide 20% of the union’s overall power supply in 2020. Galan cautioned, however, that electric cars still need to overcome hurdles related to batteries, the buildup of a recharge system, and regulation.

If electric vehicles were to be charged at night, they could help the penetration of renewable power, Galan said. Spain has one of the world’s highest percentages of renewable power as part of overall electricity production.

Iberdrola is currently involved in a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging the development of the electric car, including projects related to the international standardisation and progressive roll-out of charging points, the development of smart distribution networks and the integration of this type of vehicle into the power system.

The company is also one of the signatories of the memorandum drawn up by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade designed to promote the use of the electric vehicles in Spain.

Iberdrola has started to roll out a network of charging stations for electric cars at its corporate offices, with installations at several stations in Madrid and Bilbao, that will enable the company to begin replacing its fleet with electric cars.

The company, which intends to acquire electric cars for employees to use for business during the coming year, will install this type of infrastructure in all its work centres.

These charging stations, manufactured by the Malaga-based company Práctica Tecnología and Circutor Group in Catalonia, are part of Iberdrola’s focus in electric mobility and underlines its firm commitment to reducing CO2 emissions and sustainable development.

The company’s interest in promoting electric cars goes back more than 10 years, when it participated on projects such: ‘Project Zeus’ between 1996 and 1998 with the Mondragón Group; ‘Project Viel’, conducted at its centre in San Agustín de Guadalix between 2002 and 2004; and a pilot project backed by the Valladolid City Council to introduce electric motorcycles and the necessary charging points.

Iberdrola is currently involved in a number of electric car-related projects, including ‘Project Cenit Verde’, in conjunction with Seat, to develop Spanish electric transport technology; or ‘Project Merge’ (Mobile Energy Resources of Electricity) to analyse the impact the introduction of these cars has on current and future electricity distribution networks.

In Spain, Iberdrola participates on ‘Project EPV’ (Electrical Powered Vehicles), which aims to introduce electric cars into the urban transport mix in the Valencia region. It is also looking into joint projects with Renault and will oversee the development of the infrastructure needed to charge all the prototype electric vehicles that the various departments of the Castilla y Leon regional government intend to use.

Outside of Spain, the company, through its subsidiary ScottishPower, is participating in a project focused on providing the necessary electricity infrastructure to use electric vehicles in Glasgow. Meanwhile, in the US, Iberdrola U.S.A. is working on an initiative related to electric trucks.

These projects come on top of the studies being conducting alongside General Motors Europe to analyse the technical requirements of the energy supply infrastructures needed for electric cars, its collaboration with international groups on the standardisation of charging parameters, and its involvement in prestigious forums such as Foreve in Spain and GreenCars in Europe.

The Movele plan was launched by the government at the start of this year and is designed to boost electric mobility in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. As part of this initiative, the Ministry of Industry has established that 280, 191 and 75 charging points will be installed in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville, respectively. The initiative will also promote support for purchasing this type of vehicle.

Iberdrola, the world’s largest wind power company, increased its electricity production by 4,492 million kWh or 26.4% in 2009 to 21,490 million kWh. Of the total, 20,909 million kWh are at the company’s wind farms, 560 million kWh at its small-scale hydro plants and 21 million kWh from other technologies.

In wind energy, 9,628 million kWh were generated in Spain, 7,731 million kWh in the US, 1,764 million kWh in the UK and 1,786 million kWh in the rest of the world.

In Spain, the company has 5,276 MW of capacity. The company ended 2009 with 4,882 MW of wind energy capacity, a 356 MW increase in the year. It also has 342 MW of small-scale hydro capacity in Spain, 50 MW at the solar thermal plant in Puertollano, Ciudad Real, and 2 MW at its first forestry biomass power plant in Corduente, Guadalajara.