Power generation of the future
At the end of 2020, we made an important stride forward in exiting coal by closing Group 2 at the Brindisi power plant, while at the start of 2021, we were given authorization to close Groups 1 and 2 at Fusina, in Veneto, by summer. Taking into account the closure of the Bastardo power plant in Umbria in 2019, we will have decommissioned over 1 GW of carbon-fired power in just three years before concluding the process with the La Spezia and Civitavecchia plants.
This broad-ranging project will see the refurbishment of all of the former thermoelectric power plants. This will either be with the principles of the circular economy in mind, or else it will involve the conversion of the plants into integrated energy hubs in which renewable generation will be central.
This direction is consistent with the foundation of Enel Green Power in 2008, when we first announced that our route to the future would be through renewable energies, an area in which we now lead the world.
“We have never stinted in that commitment and we will be intensifying it in the coming years: while 55% of our overall energy production here in Italy already comes from clean energies, our ambition is to make that 65% by 2023.”
Because investing in renewables means creating value not just for the environment but also for the economy and local communities by introducing new skills and the consequent increase in employment.
A strategic vector for an evolving market
With the significant growth in the amount of power being generated using renewables, end-use electrification has an increasingly strategic role to play. For several years now, our Group has been developing innovative and efficient solutions to improve the quality of people’s lives in their homes and cities. Starting with widespread electric mobility for both public and private transport and also for the maritime sector through the development of green ports.
“Electricity is the most efficient, sustainable and competitive energy vector.”
To accelerate this change, we launched a National EV Charging Point Plan flanked by a series of services made simpler and faster by Enel X technology.
We are enabling this transformation by boosting infrastructure that is increasingly smart, resilient and digitalized. These systems can transmit the energy generated in a sustainable way and respond more rapidly to customers’ requirements, thanks to more efficient new generation meters that are better at helping people make energy savings. This in turn has a positive impact on the environment, as well as on electricity bills.
The energy market will undergo further major change in the coming years as it becomes completely deregulated, a process that began in January for 200,000 Italian SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), and which will soon be extended to 15 million family and microbusiness customers. With the end of the controlled market in sight, it is becoming increasingly urgent to have a Register of Vendors, an efficient way of selectively approving only those operators that are genuinely reliable and solvent, and which guarantees the development of a healthy competitive dynamic that will benefit the system as a whole and consumers.
CEOforLife, virtuous osmosis
Sustainability has been at the very heart of our strategy for some years now, guiding our investments. It’s a beacon that enables us to generate shared value that also benefits communities and geographic areas in which we operate. In 2015, we revolutionized our growth model, committing ourselves to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which are the only way to shift to a new paradigm that’s capable of generating value for everyone. The CEOForLife Award, which is an acknowledgement of our commitment to SDG 13 (Climate Action), stimulates us to strive for constant improvement, for excellence, and sends out an important signal from a network that fosters the creation of virtuous osmosis by bringing together experiences and people from different sectors who, like our Group, see sustainability as their pole star.
Article dated 30 April 2021 by Carlo Tamburi, Head of Country Italy from 2014 to 2021.