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RIC Jose Luis Moya

SPAIN - Green Economy

José Luis Moya

CEO, RIC Energy Spain

Bio

José Luis Moya Jiménez, CEO and founder of RIC Energy Group has more than 30 years of professional experience in management positions. He started in the world of renewable energy in 2005 after a career as an auditor/consultant at Price Waterhouse and Cooper and as a senior executive at leading consumer companies such as Seagram and Diageo. In 2010 he began RIC Energy Group’s international expansion through the development and construction of photovoltaic projects in the United States, India, and several African countries. In 2017, RIC Energy Group’s presence in Spain was boosted by the award of nearly 4 GW of photovoltaic projects, placing the company among the seven largest renewable energy developers in Spain. After exponential growth, today RIC Energy Group has more than 200 employees on four continents and a project portfolio of more than 20,000 MW, including innovative technologies such as green hydrogen, storage, biogas and wind energy. He is also a director and shareholder of the photovoltaic energy management company Austral Venture Gestión. He is also a director of FertigHy, the European green fertiliser consortium, in which, together with RIC Energy, Heineken, Siemens Financial Services, EIT Innoenergy, Invivo and Maire are also shareholders. He holds a degree in Business Administration and Management, a Master’s degree from IESE in the Executive Development Programme and an Executive Management Programme from IE Business School.

"In a young company, our people and shared values are fundamental."
TBY talks to José Luis Moya, CEO of RIC Energy Spain, about clean energy, the regulatory environment, and goals for the coming year.
Since 2005, RIC Energy has been a driving force in the transition to clean energy. What were the key milestones in RIC Energy’s journey?

In 2005, the global PV solar industry was in its infancy, with Spain emerging as the second-largest market due to robust public support and favorable economic conditions. Transitioning from the fast-moving consumer goods sector, with a finance background, I was introduced to this opportunity by a childhood friend who was an engineer—a prospect that initially seemed incredible. After extensive research and regulatory understanding, I crafted a promising financial model. Our inaugural PV solar project took place on my parents’ vineyard in 2006-2007, marking the genesis of our company in La Mancha. Recognizing the sector’s lack of specialization across the value chain—from project development to construction and maintenance—we opted to manage the entire process internally. By 2012, we had developed and maintained projects valued at approximately EUR600 million and held assets worth EUR150 million. However, a sudden shift in Spain’s government economic policies in 2012 resulted in significant losses around EUR30 million due to regulatory changes. This prompted us to diversify internationally. In 2011, we entered the Indian market through a joint venture with a leading firm listed on the Mumbai Stock Exchange, constructing a 20-MW project valued at approximately USD35 million. As well as we entered in USA market where we continue with a very strong portfolio and in different countries of Africa.

RIC Energy is involved in various renewable energy projects such as green hydrogen, wind, biogas, and storage. How does the company determine the priority among these projects?

Between 2011 and 2018, Spain’s renewable energy sector stagnated, leading us to focus primarily on the US, particularly California. However, the tide turned in 2017-2018 with renewable energy auctions in Spain. Leveraging my connections, we identified opportunities and developed approximately 4GW of projects for clients like Q Energy, LSBP; Sonnedix; and Trina Solar Solar. By 2020-2021, recognizing the need to diversify beyond PV solar, we expanded into hydrogen, battery storage, biomethane, and wind technologies. This strategic shift transformed us from a single-technology to a multi-technology company, enhancing our portfolio and fostering technology integration. Today, Spain serves as our primary market, boasting a portfolio of approximately 13-14GW across various technologies. Additionally, we have 6-7GW of projects in Italy, Africa, and the US. Spain holds immense potential in biogas, albeit trailing behind countries such as Germany, France, and Italy. We view biogas as a significant opportunity in the short to medium term. Presently, Spain has only a few biomethane plants connected to the grid, yet the potential extends to approximately 2,500 plants. Our objective is to establish ourselves as a key player in this sector. We currently have 150MW in development, with two-thirds already in the permitting phase, dedicating substantial resources and expertise to realize these opportunities.

How do you evaluate Spain’s potential to become a leading force in green energy transformation?

While Spain trails in biomethane, it excels in PV solar and wind energy. Alongside Portugal, Spain boasts exceptional solar and wind resources, making these technologies highly complementary. Currently, Spain operates approximately 30GW of wind and 27GW of solar capacity. In the next three to four years, we anticipate adding 15-20GW of wind and 40-50GW of solar capacity, creating a surplus of renewable energy. This surplus presents a significant opportunity to attract electro-intensive industries such as hydrogen production, data centers, steel, and fertilizer companies due to competitive electricity prices. Unlike Germany, which faces constraints in wind, solar resources, and land availability, Spain is well-positioned to emerge as a renewable energy leader in the medium to long-term, despite potential short-term price fluctuations. In this context RIC Energy is building a solid and robust portfolio of eSAF(green Kerosene) so that we become an Spanish and European reference player on this field.

Is the current regulatory landscape favorable to energy companies?

As an EU member, Spain adheres to robust EU regulations promoting renewable energy, decarbonization, hydrogen, and battery storage. It must capitalize on these regulations and financial incentives, while recognizing that each EU country’s energy priorities may vary. Limited electric and gas connections to the rest of Europe, influenced by France’s preference for nuclear power as a low-carbon option, underscore the need for solidarity balanced with national energy strategies. Spain’s government and businesses must take proactive steps to bolster renewable and industrial energy sectors, ensuring reliable energy supplies for residents and industries alike.

RIC Energy operates across Spain, the US, Europe, India, and Africa. How do you handle the unique challenges and opportunities in these markets?

Balancing opportunities, risks, and internal capabilities is crucial for our strategy. Drawing from our extensive experience in Spain, USAUK since 2010, and partial presence in India, we tailor technologies and projects to suit each market’s needs. In the US, our focus on battery storage, PV solar, and hydrogen is driven by favorable conditions under the Inflation Reduction Act, which supports hydrogen projects more effectively than the EU. In the US, we specialize in niche areas like community solar projects (5-7MW), predominantly serving specific consumers. We rank as the second-largest developer in New York and operate in Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, and Canada. Our strategy varies by region and expertise; in Italy, for instance, we prioritize PV plus storage due to limited land availability, while in Poland, biomethane takes precedence over saturated wind and solar markets. In Africa, leveraging our Indian team, we act as an EPC provider, engaging in tenders from institutions like the World Bank. Maintaining assets in our portfolio is crucial; for instance, we retain a 49% stake in a 23-MW project in Uganda. We operate across approximately 10 African countries, including Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, and South Africa, underscoring our commitment to the continent. Currently, we are constructing five microgrids in Ethiopia to supply electricity to remote areas, with plans to replicate similar solutions elsewhere. Africa’s potential for renewable energy, particularly solar and waste-to-energy projects, is vast, poised to drive substantial growth in water usage and electricity consumption over the coming years.

What are some examples of strategic partnerships your company has formed to advance innovation and sustainability initiatives?

One of our significant hydrogen partnerships is with RepSol for a 30-MW green hydrogen project in Puerto Llano. We have also established a consortium with the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), alongside CNS, Heineken, Maire, and InVivo, focusing on developing green fertilizer solutions to reduce CO2 emissions in agriculture. This initiative plays a crucial role in enhancing agricultural sustainability and food security. Collaborative efforts are essential for addressing decarbonization challenges, which is why we actively participate in such consortiums. Additionally, we are involved in a consortium with HESTECH and RED Electrical for battery storage projects, underscoring our dedication to advancing innovation and sustainability. Finally, we are exploring and working to identify potential partners in order to form consortiums that allow to underpin and accelerate our position in the eSAF industry.

What are the key goals and priorities for RIC Energy in 2025?

In a young company, our people and shared values are fundamental. We prioritize not only achieving financial objectives but also broader goals. Transitioning from project developers to independent power producers (and our strategic ambition to become a selective IPP player so that we can keep in our balance sheet around 500MW by the end of 2026), we emphasize building a solid financial foundation. This stability enables us to navigate challenges effectively and capitalize on growth opportunities, particularly through strategic partnerships in emerging sectors like hydrogen. Our goal is to forge lasting collaborations that enhance our standing as a major player in the industry.

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