Founded in 1962, Enel has been powering Italy for over half a century, bringing light, technology, innovation and progress to every corner of the country. As stressed by Francesco Starace, Enel’s CEO, these are the foundations on which our company has evolved over time, building a body of expertise that makes the Group a world leader in today’s energy sector.
Over the past two decades, Italy’s energy industry and market have undergone profound changes, which are set to continue and gather pace.
In the coming years, the energy sector will continue to change substantially from its current form, shifting towards new production models that are increasingly sustainable, and towards a market that is increasingly smart, interconnected and capable of meeting the new requirements of its consumers.
Customers are and will increasingly be at the heart of the system, no longer as passive users but as direct and demanding participants who are well informed about their own consumption, the efficiency of the system and value-added services.
In this complex and rapidly changing context, it is essential to look to the future, investing in technologies that can drive the energy transition and identifying, where possible, the potential of new interactions with different industrial sectors. Continuing on this theme Francesco Starace explained that Enel’s 2018-2020 Strategic Plan has confirmed the Group’s focus on digitalisation and customer focus, as well as continuing its commitment to renewables.
Thanks to growing competitiveness and reliability, renewable energies have become an integral part of the Italian energy mix (in 2016 production from renewables catered for approximately one third of the country’s total electricity consumption – source: GSE). The progression towards a leading role in the global energy mix is set to continue in the coming years, driven by decreasing costs, growing environmental awareness and new consumer habits.
Enel is playing a key role in this process. With 40 GW of capacity managed in 2017, Enel has consolidated its global leadership in renewable energy. Investments of 8 billion euros during the period 2018-2020 mean that we will continue to lead the energy transition.
As mentioned, we have two main guiding themes that orient our industrial decisions: digitalisation and customer focus are the cornerstones on which Enel’s strategy in Italy is based.
Important projects are centred on our customers. In Italy the installation plan for the latest generation Open Meters (about 40 million by 2030) will allow us to seize the opportunities offered by new digital technologies and provide innovative services for a more conscious use of energy. The creation of a widespread and public network of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles will see the installation, from the Alps to Sicily and Sardinia, of approximately 7,000 columns by 2020, and 14,000 by 2022. The charging stations will be located in urban centres, as well as on major roads outside cities to enable the use of electric cars out of town for long distance travel.
Our subsidiary Open Fiber has been working for a year on the installation of fibre-optic cable across the whole of Italy, helping to bridge the digital divide that still affects some parts of the country.
Another example of the initiatives implemented in Italy is Futur-e. An expression of the Open Power concept, the programme encourages the conversion of the sites of 23 thermoelectric plants that once powered the industrial development of our country and which today, through collaboration with the local communities, can begin a new narrative of sustainable development and innovation.
Through these and many other measures and thanks to our continuous and wide-ranging presence across Italy, we will continue our work: bringing energy to people, communities and the country, creating new services and driving Italy’s energy transition. Francesco Starace concluded that a New Energy Economy can generate shared value for our company, for all our stakeholders (employees, shareholders, customers) and for the environment, enabling us to continue to power innovative ideas for the competitiveness of the Italian system.