The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Iberdrola have signed an agreement to support the development, modernisation and digitalisation of the company's electricity distribution networks in several Spanish regions. To this end, they have signed a €550 million green loan enabling the company to boost smart grids in Spain, contributing to greater electrification, in line with the of the Spanish and European climate neutrality target for 2050.
This agreement contributes to the development of the ambitious network investment plan that i-DE - Iberdrola's Spanish distributor - will develop between 2021 and 2023 and that amounts to €1.472 billion. Therefore, the EIB support will allow Iberdrola to improve the reliability, efficiency and security of the distribution of a renewable and sustainable energy supply.
The implementation of this investment plan of i-DE will drive the green recovery of the economy and employment, making it possible for around 10 000 jobs per year to be maintained in Spain during the implementation period, according to EIB estimates. In addition, a significant share of investments (68%) will be made in cohesion regions, in a country with unemployment rates significantly higher than the EU average.
This financing will contribute to achieving a threefold objective: meeting growth in demand (connected to electric transport and air conditioning) and production (more renewable energy and distributed generation); improving the resilience of the electricity grid to meet the challenges of climate change; and promoting the modernisation of processes related to electricity distribution infrastructure, while also taking sustainability criteria into account.
The investment programme covered by this operation contributes to the Bank's sustainable energy public policy objective, in line with the criteria of the Climate Bank Roadmap. The investments will also support increased electrification in the heating and mobility sectors, in line with Spain's National Energy and Climate Plan objectives.
The EU bank is assisting this operation via a green loan, the features of which are fully in line with the requirements set out in its climate awareness bonds programme. As a result, it is likely to be allocated to its portfolio of loan operations financed via the issuance of these bonds.