Futur-e: winning answer, not only for Italy

Published on Monday, 17 October 2016

What should be done with old obsolete thermal plants? For the Bloomberg agency, Enel’s project for the redevelopment of Italy’s old plants is an effective solution and a need shared by an increasing number of countries.
It’s Italy’s answer to a global problem and can become a best practice beyond the country’s borders. For the international agency  Bloomberg Enel’s Futur-e project is an effective and innovative answer to a question asked by an increasing number of countries.

The closing down of obsolete coal and gas plants now has a global roadmap that Bloomberg summarily describes in the article entitled “What Happens to Old Polluting Power Plants? Italya Has an Answer”.

The campaign Beyond Coal del Sierra Club has estimated that in the United States a closing down date has already been fixed for 236 thermal plants. The United Kingdom has committed to shut all its coal plants by 2025. China, viewed as a champion of global polluting, is starting to decommission fossil fuel facilities in urban areas due to the greenhouse gases and damaging  particles they produce. For each of these sites –hundreds across the world by now – there is an ongoing and open question regarding the future .

There are many examples of thermal plants and old industrial sitesthat have started a new life thanks to creative redevelopment projects and completely different uses .The list of those that can be defined as “eclectic plants” include examples from all over the world, with many facilities that have become museums like Tejo in Lisbon, the Power Station of Art in Shanghai,  Montemartini in Rome or the very well known Tate Modern in London, once the Bankside power station.

The Futur-e project is made unique by a strategic overall vision, which is not limited to the redevelopment of individual plants but rather of a whole group of facilities, and its model, which involves dialogue and cooperation with the local stakeholders of the areas where the plants are located, in order to identify new uses for the sites together with administrations, businesses and citizens.  

The director of Enel’s Global Thermal Generation Division Enrico Viale explains in the article published by Bloomberg that the redevelopment of old thermal plants is a duty that Enel feels it’s committed to towards the areas that have hosted these plants so far.  "We have grown together and have built a solid relationship with the communities”, Viale told Bloomberg. And, more than the mere decommissioning of production sites, “it’s necessary to grant them a prospect for the future”, which can go beyond their use for electricity generation.  

The international Contest of Ideas for Alessandria, the ongoing public procedures for the purchase and redevelopment of the plants of Rossano (Cosenza)Montalto di Castro (Viterbo)Porto Tolle (Rovigo) are the most blatant examples of the model carried out by Enel to grant a new future to the areas that host the plants.

The future of the sites involved in the project Futur-e may be shopping centers, amusement parks, logistics centers and destinations of functional use to the needs and perspectives of development of the territories in which they arise.

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