Iberdrola to further juice up renewables capacity worldwide
Spanish electricity giant Iberdrola leads Spain’s renewable energy market, with 15,828 of its 30,000MW global capacity being based in the country. Having already invested over €100bn in renewable energy projects and programmes worldwide since 2001, Iberdrola has committed to a further €34bn in global investments in renewable energy solutions, smart distribution networks and storage tech between now and 2022.
In line with this ambitious strategy, the firm has announced that it will install 400MW of photovoltaic (PV) panels in Extremadura, Spain, with two 50MW projects (the Majada Alta and Santa Antonio facilities) to be commissioned in Cedillo, Cáceres alongside a grid-connected 300MW PV plant in the same region. According to Iberdrola’s press release, the Cedillo projects alone will be comprised of 300,000 PV panels and could present 200 construction jobs. Along with its other projects in Extremadura, Iberdrola’s total capacity under construction and in the pipeline in the region amounts to 1,800MW.
“Iberdrola foresees that another of its projects in the region, the Campo Arañuelo complex (Arañuelo I, II and III of 150 MW) will be the next to commence construction at the beginning of 2020,” Iberdrola said in its press release on the matter.
“Its development -which could create another 200 jobs during construction- has a high local involvement since the engineering and environmental work has been awarded to the Extremaduran company Ecoenergías del Guadiana and the power transformers will be supplied by Faramax. The project also includes an energy storage system involving the use of an innovative battery.”
The news comes alongside reports that the firm will soon enter the Australian market for the first time.
Bloomberg reported on 14 November that Iberdrola aims to build a 320MW hybrid wind and solar farm in South Australia in 2021.
“Like a lot of countries, we see increasing demand from the public and businesses for their energy to come from clean sources,” said Xabier Viteri, Director of Renewable Energy at Iberdrola, in an emailed statement, according to Bloomberg. “When you have that demand, coupled with abundant natural resources for high-performance wind and solar, it creates a highly attractive market to invest in.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.