Europe is paying the price for not moving faster into renewables as it scrambles to cope with soaring energy prices and dependence on Russian fossil fuels, claimed the CEO of global green power giant Iberdrola.

Ignacio Galán called for “more Europe and more coordinated action” as he said: “The solution is to accelerate electrification though more investment in renewables, networks and storage.

“If we had started renewables faster, today we would be far less vulnerable to external shocks,” said the Iberdrola chief, whose company was among the first to push heavily into clean power development globally.

Galán also hit out at plans for country-specific solutions to high energy costs such as newly planned price caps by Spain and Portugal, arguing that Europe needs to look for “common solutions”, while praising the ambition of the European Commission's REpowerEU initiative to boost renewables unveiled in response to the Ukraine crisis.

Iberdrola was protected by its hedging from the worst impacts of inflation raging through the clean energy supply chain, Galán said, but added that if the current levels continued it will inevitably be reflected in upwards movement on future power deals.

The Iberdrola CEO spoke to financial analysts as the Spanish group posted first quarter results that showed a €1.05bn ($1.12bn) net profit, up 3% year-on-year.

The company has added 3.5GW of new renewable capacity since the end of last year’s Q1, taking it to a total of 38.3GW.

Iberdrola received a boost the end of Q1 when the outstanding capacity for its 3GW, $9bn East Anglia Hub offshore wind plan finally received UK government planning approval.