Iberdrola today held the ninth edition of its Digital Summit with more than 1,500 employees attending the event, held at the company’s campus in San Agustín del Guadalix (Madrid). The company’s commitment to digitalization is reflected in its commitment to double its investment in Innovation, Development and Research (R&D&I) over the last 10 years, with the aim of reaching 4,000 million euros by 2030.
Ignacio Galán, executive chairman of the company, highlighted the key role of people in this digital revolution and urged employees to continue to actively participate in it: “At Iberdrola we support this great technological change and we are already leading its application in different areas of the electricity sector. I encourage you to continue contributing all your knowledge and experience to generate new ideas and applications,” he said at the presentation of the event.
The event, with the slogan Digital Experience: Empowering People, Driving Change, aimed to empower people to think differently and drive change throughout the organization.
Iberdrola believes that digitalization should be transmitted to all areas of the company: from the network business to the renewables business, from sales to digital transformation, and from people to marketing.
The company has counted on the participation of a wide panel of experts from other companies that have intervened throughout the five hours of the conference. Professionals from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, the technology consultancies Capgemini and Accenture, the firm specializing in neurotechnology Bitbrain, the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, the automakers Ford and SEAT, the electric charger manufacturer Wallbox, the management and technology consultancy Eraneos and the insurance company Nationale-Nederlanden attended. Begoña García-Zapirain, professor at the University of Deusto, also participated.
The industrial metaverse
During the conference, the industrial metaverse created by Iberdrola, which aims to unite the real and virtual worlds, was discussed. Thus, in the network business, the employee prepares the work in the office in a virtual environment, from locations to identification of elements or risks.
Subsequently, the field worker can visualize all this preparation with Mixed Reality, which incorporates a virtual layer to the reality to increase the understanding of the environment and safety, in addition to having real-time help from the office, where virtual reality allows interacting with the representation of the reality that the field worker is seeing.
The suppliers assure that this Iberdrola solution is very advanced and that it is an example of the real business utility of the metaverse, enriching the work in the office with resources that until now were limited to being on-site at the installation, and improving efficiency and safety in the field.
Another novelty presented was the formula for aggregating different resources, such as the production of green hydrogen, self-consumption solutions, home automation and intelligent management systems in air conditioning and electric vehicle charging. All these factors will be added to the flexibility platform and managed together as if it were a conventional power plant in what is called Virtual Power Plant (VPP), the digital solution to distributed asset management.
In addition, the issue of artificial intelligence was addressed, in which Iberdrola leads the European project IA4TES (Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Energy Transition), which aims to train and attract talent, generate alliances and carry out proofs of concept of highly disruptive technologies within AI in energy.
Commitment to innovation
The Digital Summit is part of Iberdrola’s commitment to R&D&I. The company focuses its innovation projects on renewable energy, smart grids, digital transformation, green hydrogen and the development of customized solutions for its customers. In doing so, it aims to accelerate the energy transition by addressing not only the climate crisis, but also by improving energy security, competitiveness and sustainable job creation throughout the value chain.
Through the incorporation of new technological solutions, the company has become a driver of the transition to a sustainable, competitive and safe energy model based on electrification. In fact, Iberdrola, which is the private utility in the world that invests the most in R&D&I -according to data from The 2021 Industrial Investment Scoreboard report prepared by the European Commission-, has allocated 2,000 million euros to this area in the last decade. In 2021, Iberdrola invested 337.5 million in R&D&I, 15% more than in the previous year, and the number of innovation projects underway totals 250.