ScottishPower and Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galán called for sustainable electricity development to meet the needs of the 1.3 billion people around the world, equivalent to 20% of the entire population, who don’t have access to electricity.
Taking part in a panel discussion at the World Climate Summit in Doha with Qatar Energy Minister Mohammed bin Salel Al-Sada, and Scottish Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, Galán said the only way to achieve this is to promote efficient technologies from an economic and environmental standpoint.
He pointed out that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and last year hit a new record of 31.6 gigatonnes, 3% more than in 2010, as a result of which the world is falling further behind in its goal of combating climate change. Galán said investment should be focused on developing new installations, such as onshore and offshore windfarms. With regards to other renewable energy sources, he said research and development efforts should continue in new technologies such as photovoltaic, wave and tidal with a view to bringing down their cost.
The Iberdrola Chairman also highlighted that to achieve sustainability in the electricity sector it is essential to introduce smart grids that help increase energy efficiency and facilitate the exploitation of new technologies such as electric vehicles.
Development of Smart Grids in Qatar
Iberdrola also signed an agreement today (Monday 3rd December) with Qatari electricity utility Kahramaa, to help aid the development of smart grids in Qatar. The arrangement will include the transfer of knowledge and technology using Iberdrola’s smart grid experience acquired in Maine (US), Great Britain and Spain.
As part of the agreement, an Iberdrola team of experts will be based permanently in Doha. The team will conduct a feasibility and technical assessment of the country's existing electricity infrastructure as well as different smart grid technologies to determine the most appropriate for the country's energy needs. It will also be designing and implementing a pilot project for centralised control that will enable the final deployment of smart grid technologies in three years time.
The new technologies will enable Kahramaa to create new products and services for its customers, whilst improving the quality of electricity supply to homes and businesses. It will also facilitate the future integration of renewable sources in Qatar's energy system as well as the deployment of electric vehicles.
In 2012, Iberdrola started the deployment of smart grids in seven regions in Spain. It has installed more than 550,000 smart meters in the State of Maine (USA) and has a number of pilot projects in operation across Great Britain, covering Scotland, Wales and England.