Green energy powerhouse Iberdrola says it will match the UK government's green energy ambitions and even accelerate investment if it continues with a stable framework for the energy sector.
Iberdrola CEO Ignacio Galán met with UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and indicated that the company is prepared to invest at record levels if the regulatory framework supports the appetite for green infrastructure.
Earlier this month, Iberdrola, a global leader in renewables and electricity networks, outlined a €47bn capital investment plan for the next three years, with investment in the UK set to increase by £10.4bn in total between 2020 and 2025.
In a meeting with the chancellor, Ignacio Galán said the UK has an excellent opportunity to continue its leadership in renewables and electricity networks.
"We are ready to match the UK government's green energy ambitions. With a stable and predictable regulatory environment, we are ready to continue to invest at record levels. And we are even ready to accelerate that investment if conditions allow."
"We have to approach the current energy crisis differently. This is an emergency and if there is one country in Europe that can deliver faster on electrification, it is the UK," he said.
"The UK has a great opportunity to build on its leading position in renewables, especially offshore wind, and to grow the green hydrogen economy. And, of course, to continue to invest in the electricity grids that will be the backbone for bringing more renewables into the system and help decarbonise transport and heating."
"I welcome the Chancellor's commitment and have made it clear to him that in Iberdrola and ScottishPower the UK Government will have a partner in tune with its green energy ambitions. If the Government and the regulator are willing to go further in their ambitions, so will we," he said.
Through its ScottishPower business, Iberdrola is building one of the largest offshore wind plants in UK waters in East Anglia and was one of the biggest winners in the ScotWind offshore auctions, with a potential 7GW of offshore wind off the coast of Scotland.
Iberdrola predicts that global energy demand is set to exceed current forecasts, doubling by 2040, and its three-year spending plans allocate 57% of capital to power grids.
Ofgem this week published its final decision on ScottishPower's SP Energy Networks' plans to invest more than £3bn between 2023 and 2028 in its distribution networks in south central Scotland and north Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside. SP Energy Networks is now assessing the details of the final resolution.
Galán said: "We need a climate where regulators push companies like ours to go further and faster. The holistic grid design is an example of how regulators can focus on creating the long-term conditions for investment in the clean, green infrastructure a country needs to electrify and break the link to fossil fuels.