Iberdrola Renewables Offshore managing director Jonathan Cole will be stepping down from his role at the Spanish utility to pursue new ventures.
Cole, who led the developer’s campaign in the offshore wind sector from its earliest projects in the UK North Sea to a now 10GW-plus global development pipeline spanning the US, Europe and Asia, will be succeeded by Alvaro Martinez Palacio, who has held senior positions in the company for some 14 years.
“Jonathan will be moving on amicably next year, and we thank him for his hard work in advancing our offshore wind business globally,” said an Iberdrola spokesman, noting that Cole and Martinez would work together during the hand-over period
“Alvaro’s experience in successfully delivering large-scale projects across the world will help to continue driving forward our ambitions to be the global leader in offshore wind power in the years ahead,” he added.
Cole, a leading figure in the global offshore wind industry and central to several key sector initiatives including the Scottish government’s ‘strategic investment assessment’, told Recharge: “It was a huge privilege to lead Iberdrola’s offshore business from its inception and see it grow into a global business spanning four continents.
“The past ten years has been as much about building an industry, as building a business. Offshore wind has a vital role to play in the decarbonisation of our economy and the fight against climate change.
“Although our industry has collectively achieved so much in the past 15 years, there are still many technological, industrial and economic challenges that lie ahead and I hope to be able to play a key role again in future.”
While at offshore wind helm at Iberdrola, Cole was responsible for the development, construction and operation of a large international pipeline of projects, including 3.5GW of projects off Britain, over 1GW off Germany, 500MW in France, 6GW off Taiwan and 5GW in the US.
The Scotsman, who joined Iberdrola via its takeover of Scottish Power Renewables in 2007, also holds high-level positions in a number of industry bodies, including the UK Government’s Offshore Wind Programme Board, the Global Offshore Wind Health & Safety Organisation and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s Industry Advisory Group.
Iberdrola, after starting its offshore wind journey in the UK and Germany, is now advancing or planning projects off nations including the US, France, Poland, Japan, Taiwan, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland, and has also outline international ambitions in the floating sector.
The Spanish developer is one of a clutch of power utilities and fossil fuel giants with massive wind and solar deployment plans that are tipped to emerge as ‘renewable supermajors’ by the end of the decade.
Iberdrola is pursuing a goal to triple its worldwide renewables capacity to 95GW by 2030 backed by a $183bn investment.