The Spanish energy companies have launched to make cash with renewables to be able to continue growing in the ‘green’ transition under an inflationary situation and after the biggest rise in interest rates since the euro existed. In total, companies such as Repsol, Iberdrola, Q-Energy or BayWan have closed operations worth almost 3,000 million euros in Spain in the last year between the sale of assets and bringing in new partners in certain renewable projects.
The latest example of a great alliance is that of Iberdrola and Norges Bank Investment Management. Under its 2022-25 strategic plan, the Bilbao-based group plans to obtain up to 2,600 million euros from the sale of minority stakes in its projects, especially in renewables, and for this purpose the rotation of assets has already begun. The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund will co-invest in 1,265 megawatts (MW) of new renewable capacity in Spain.
“Iberdrola manages to cushion the burden of financing and with the capital obtained it can continue the development of new projects and reach its goal of reaching 90,000MW by 2030. For their part, the financial partners reign in the opportunities to invest in attractive profitability activities and stable hand in hand with a top-level industrial partner”, Bankinter analysts point out.
The assets have a total value of about 1,225 million euros and Iberdrola will have a majority percentage of 51%, for which Norges Bank will disburse 600 million. The agreement could also be extended to other countries in the future. “The sale fits within the financing strategy of renewable expansion with minority partners”, points out from Banco Sabadell.
Repsol and Amancio Ortega
The same strategy was carried out before by Repsol. At the beginning of June last year, it closed the sale of 25% of its renewable business for 905 million euros to the consortium formed by Crédit Agricole Assurances and the Swiss fund Energy Infrastructure Partners (EIP).
The incorporation of this partner into its green subsidiary entails an investment commitment in line with the strategic plan of the Spanish multi-energy company, which involves reaching 6 GW in 2025 and reaching 20 GW by 2030. It also plans to enter a new markets and the incorporation of complementary technologies, such as floating offshore wind power. After gaining financial muscle, oil took a firm step towards its goal and at the end of the year announced the purchase of Asterion Energies’ mega-portfolio of renewables for 580 million.
Asterion Energies, a development platform created by Asterion in 2019, manages a portfolio of projects mainly under development of almost 8,000 renewable MW in Spain (84%), Italy (12%) and France (4%). But Repsol’s operations do not end here. Pontegadea, the investment arm of Amancio Ortega, has invested 27 million euros to take over 49% of Kappa, a 126.7 MW photovoltaic facility located in Manzanares (Ciudad Real). This operation meant valuing the asset at 109 million, including the project debt.
This was Repsol’s second operation with the investment company of the founder of Inditex, which already at the end of 2021 took over 49% of the Delta wind farm for 245 million euros. Amancio Ortega has also strengthened in renewables in the last year at the hands of Enagás, the Spanish gas operator. He bought 5% of Enagás Renovable for 3.5 million euros. In addition, he is the second shareholder of Red Eléctrica after the State Company of Industrial Participations (SEPI).
Largest renewable operation in 2022
Q-Energy, for its part, carried out the largest renewables operation in the Spanish market in 2022. It sold, through various suppliers, some 4,500 MW to the Austrian energy company Verbund for 1,000 million euros. Verbund landed in the Spanish market at the end of 2021 with a project in renewables and, subsequently, the acquisition from Capital Energy of a 70% stake in five other renewable facilities under development.
For its part, BayWa communicated in the first days of the current course the sale of a 115 MW photovoltaic portfolio, made up of three solar plants, to the L&G NTR Clean Power Fund, managed by Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), global manager of assets, and NTR, a leading specialist in renewable energy.
“As some developed markets struggle to balance their government budgets, fiscal woes could add to tighter monetary policy as financing costs rise, slowing the green investments America diverts requires,” .
In the same way, the analysts of the US entity doubt that the balance sheets of the central banks will be a source of demand for green bonds until inflation falls, which will force the private sector to develop an increasingly important role in decarbonization to meet climate goals by 2050.
“Spain is a reference for its special idiosyncrasy and strategic position in renewable energies, which must be fully exploited and analyzed in order to prosper effectively, clearly and quickly. This leads us to seek alliances between companies and operators, or non-governmental organizations , with the aim of not only advancing in the decarbonisation of the country, but also depending less and less on the plans of third parties”, Víctor Fermosel, a professor at EAE Business School, told this outlet.