Telefónica teams up with Repsol on green energy

Telefónica accomplished the twin benefits of burnishing its green credentials and adding a further string to its bow by forming a 50:50 joint venture with Spanish energy company Repsol in the field of solar photovoltaic panels.

The two groups plan to jointly market and sell solar panels to domestic households, offering advice on installation and services as well as a range of value-added services related to home energy management. They also intend to "explore additional opportunities to jointly drive other home and business energy services."

The new JV still requires regulatory approval, but once established it will have its own management composed of employees from both companies. Further details have not yet been revealed.

Blue-skies thinking: The solar-power joint venture is timely, given soaring energy prices around the world.
 (Source: Red Zeppelin on Unsplash)
Blue-skies thinking: The solar-power joint venture is timely, given soaring energy prices around the world.
(Source: Red Zeppelin on Unsplash)

The announcement is certainly timely, given soaring energy prices around the world. It also closely follows a recent tie-up between Vodafone Spain and Repsol on the creation of a "solar community" around the operator's Madrid headquarters.

High energy

Telefónica has already dipped its toes into solar panels: Movistar Paneles Solares was established in 2020 and sold solar panels in collaboration with IDNA in Valencia, Murcia and Alicante. However, this particular venture is no longer to be found on the Movistar Spain website, suggesting that the planned Repsol JV is taking its place.

The new JV is set to augment Telefónica's burgeoning portfolio of adjacent services that it sells alongside its more traditional connectivity offerings. For example, the Spanish operator offers financial and insurance services as well as telemedicine services under Movistar Salud, device insurance under Seguro Dispositivos and connected car services via Movistar Car.

The operator also has experience in establishing joint ventures with companies in different industries: Movistar Prosegur Alarmas was established in collaboration with Prosegur in March 2020 and sells home security alarm services.

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Worth noting here is the recent speculation that Telefónica is planning a radical overhaul of its convergent Movistar Fusion offer by incorporating these non-traditional telecom services into the existing bundles of fixed/mobile telecoms and TV services. It's also possible the Fusion brand will be dropped in favor of a marque that better represents a wider portfolio of services and products.

Telefónica is of course far from alone in seeking alternative revenue streams in the highly competitive Spanish market. Vodafone Spain also sells alarm services in collaboration with Securitas, while Orange Spain has launched Orange Bank and also sells insurance services.

Másmovíl, which is set to merge with Orange Spain should regulatory approval be secured, sells energy services under several brands. Sub-brand Yoigo offers a growing range of adjacent services, including EnergyGO green energy products, the DoctorGO app, HomeGO smart home alarm services, SafeGO digital security, MoneyGO payments and the Next Smart Car device for in-car connectivity.

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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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