Iberdrola seeks EU recovery funds for Spanish clean power projects

by Reuters
Monday, 8 February 2021 19:00 GMT

ARCHIVE PICTURE: Wind turbines used to generate electricity are seen in El Palo summit, near Pola de Allande, Spain August 11, 2017. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

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Spain aims to use renewable energy to create jobs and compensate for the dip in key tourism and hospitality industries resulting from the coronavirus

By Isla Binnie

MADRID, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Power group Iberdrola is asking for European pandemic recovery funds to support 21 billion euros ($25 billion) worth of Spanish clean energy projects it hopes could boost a battered economy and bolster a global drive to curb carbon emissions.

The company said it is sending the Spanish government a list of 150 proposed projects, including floating wind turbines, smart grids and energy storage. Madrid can then put them forward to receive a chunk of the European Union's 750 billion euro rescue package.

About 25-30% of the value of eligible projects is expected to be covered by the recovery fund and the rest would be private investment.

More than 200 small businesses and other partners are involved in the projects, Iberdrola said.

Spain aims to use renewable energy to ride a global wave of decarbonisation efforts, hoping to create jobs and compensate for a sickening crunch in the key tourism and hospitality industries resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fellow Spanish utility Endesa, owned by Italy's Enel, has proposed 19 billion euros worth of projects including measures to reduce the reliance of Spain's islands on fossil fuels.

If the windfall arrives, Endesa calculates that its projects could create 215,000 jobs, avoid 13.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and add more than 21 billion euros to the Spanish economy in the next three years.

Gas group Naturgy has thrown its hat into the ring with plans for a potential 13 billion euros of investment to develop environmentally friendly systems including transport and hydrogen production from renewable power sources. ($1 = 0.8317 euros)

(Reporting by Isla Binnie Editing by Andrei Khalip and David Goodman)