Qatar, the tiny petroleum-soaked Persian Gulf country with the third-largest proven natural gas reserves on the planet, has gained access to the renewable energy sphere with a new strategic partnership with Iberdrola S.A. (IBDRY.PK), the world's biggest wind-energy company.
Qatar Holdings LLC, the state-owned investment wing of the nation's sovereign wealth fund, has purchased a 6.2% interest in the Spanish mega-utility for 2 billion euros (US$2.8 billion). The move will allow oil-and-gas-producing Qatar to expose itself to the energy giant's cleantech operations; it will also help Iberdrola to strengthen its balance sheet and avoid increasing corporate debt, protecting its credit standing.
As a result of the cash and stock deal, Iberdrola will establish a Middle Eastern regional headquarters in Qatar, and the two companies will pool their resources to pursue new business opportunities in emerging markets.
Poor overall performance of the renewables sector and the Spanish government's controversial decision to slash feed-in tariffs for solar power plants and wind farms as a cost-cutting measure, have battered Iberdrola shares.
For its part, Qatar Holdings owns stakes in high-profile multinationals, including Credit Suisse, Barclays, Volkswagen and Porsche. The Gulf oil state, which has dipped its toe into clean energy projects, has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars into green technology research and related investment funds over the past two years.
Image credit: Larry Johnson via Flickr
Any opinion contained in this article is solely that of the writers, and does not necessarily shape or reflect the editorial opinions of Energy Boom. Energy Boom content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be advice regarding the investment merits of, or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of, any security identified on, or linked through, this site.