Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Galán says the promise of renewables will only be achieved with the right regulatory framework. Speaking at the University of Strathclyde, Galán urged European governments including the UK, to adopt robust market-based frameworks to encourage more investment in renewables, and thus deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Galán notes, “A strong market based CO2 price signal would increase the relative competitiveness of certain renewable technologies without distortions.”
Among the potential projects include new pumped storage capacity considered the most efficient energy storage system. Galán believes, “It is important to have a regulatory framework that ensures the economic viability of these facilities. If this was the case in the UK we could develop our plan to increase the capacity of ScottishPower’s Cruachan pump storage plant, already the largest in Scotland.”
Iberdrola also reports, “Optimizing costs for offshore wind will be larger turbines…8 MW prototypes are currently under consideration…Another source of efficiency for offshore wind will be through more efficient foundation designs. Here ScottishPower is currently collaborating with the University of Strathclyde to develop floating foundations for use in deeper waters, working alongside the Offshore Renewable Energy Research Centre in the TLP WIND project.”
Galan urged engineering students to take up the challenges faced by the energy sector today. “Scotland and Scottish engineers have a long history of leading the world in engineering innovation. Glasgow and Scotland are still leading the way in sectors like renewable energy, with multinational companies setting up here to tap-in to this stream of engineering talent. With huge global investments to decarbonize the energy sector and modernize electricity grids, engineering graduates have a world of opportunities in front of them. Demand for good engineers is far greater than the supply and we are one of very few sectors offering lifelong career opportunities and employment.”