MADRID: Europe's biggest wind power generator Iberdrola pledged on Wednesday to invest 150 billion euros ($182.39 billion) on tripling its renewable capacity and doubling its network assets by 2030, bolstered by a rise in annual net profit.
Years of investment in low-emission generation and power grids have put the Spanish group squarely on investors' radars as a beneficiary of an accelerating global pivot towards running economies on renewably-sourced electricity.
It plans to operate 95 gigawatts (GW) of clean power capacity by 2030. By comparison, the International Energy Agency estimated global renewable capacity hit 200 GW in 2020.
The investment plan builds on a pledge made last November to spend 75 billion euros between 2020 and 2025.
The extended spending spree is set to take the value of the network assets that churn out around half the company's core earnings to 60 billion euros by the end of this decade.
Net profit rose 4.2% to 3.61 billion euros in 2020, meeting an average forecast of 3.60 billion euros drawn from eleven analysts polled by the company.
Growth in Brazil, the United Kingdom and Mexico balanced out a drop in Spain, where electricity demand shrank due to the coronavirus pandemic. Two thirds of the group's core earnings are now generated outside Spain.
Iberdrola's shares dropped slightly at the market open then rose as much as 0.9%, to trade just over 3% lower than at the same time last year. Their value has more than doubled in the past five years, outstripping a 30% rise for European utilities collectively. ($1 = 0.8224 euros) - Reuters