Utility raises long term ambitions -- Global aim of 15 GW

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With 3500 MW of wind capacity under its belt, Iberdrola, Spain's second biggest utility, says it is strengthening its commitment to wind development. But while it has increased its renewables target to 10 GW by 2011, how much of that will be met by wind is not specified. Its previous renewables target was for 6200 MW by 2008, with 5900 MW from wind power. Most of the new target will also come from wind.

Having added 604 MW to its wind holdings in 2005 and having averaged 598 MW of new installed wind capacity a year since 2002, Iberdrola says it has consolidated its position as the world's top wind station operator. It has been in a close and disputed race for pole position with US utility Florida Power and Light since 2004, a year in which it installed a record 905 MW. At 3500 MW of installed wind capacity, Iberdrola is ahead of schedule in meeting the wind target it set out in its strategic plan 2002-2006. This year it should reach 4000 MW, it says, with at least 500 MW added in new installations.

So far just 240 MW of Iberdrola's wind capacity is outside Spain, but CEO and president Ignacio Galán says 1200 MW of the 2008 target will be overseas. The utility will intensify wind development abroad, he says, revealing a potential 15 GW global renewables portfolio, mostly of wind projects.

The company is currently commissioning a 49 MW Rio do Fogo wind plant in Brazil and is leading the 1700 MW bid by the Nuevas Energías Ibéricas consortium in response to a detailed request for proposals issued by the Portuguese government (Windpower Monthly, April 2006). Earlier this year, it extended its share in Greece's top wind developer, Rokas, from 25% to 49.9%, and has a direct stake in 705 MW under development in the country. It also has agreements with local companies in France, Italy, Poland, UK and Germany to develop 130-200 MW in each country.

As well as wind, Iberdrola adds it will increase its commitment to solar power. "What the hell," says Luis Merino of renewables magazine Energías Renovables. "Even if wind's share of Iberdrola's renewable mix drops slightly, it will still be bigger than that of entire major European countries, like UK, France, Denmark or Italy."

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