Rome, June 30th 2021 – Director of Enel Italia Carlo Tamburi and Carlo Gaudio, President of CREA, the largest research organization focusing on agri-food, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote research, tests and pilots on solutions to promote synergy between renewable energy and agriculture, focusing on sustainability, the need to develop new photovoltaic capacity in Italy, the specific requirements of local areas and those of the entrepreneurial world in the sector. Starting from the joint commitment to the sustainability of their respective sectors, the organization and the company shared the opportunity for joint action to develop scenarios and strategies aimed at promoting the coexistence of agriculture and energy production plants with solar photovoltaic technology on the ground, known as “agrivoltaics”.
“With this agreement,” noted Carlo Tamburi, Director of Enel Italia, “we intend to strengthen the natural alliance between renewable sources, sustainable energy solutions and the agriculture industry. More specifically, working together to promote harmonious growth in local areas of increasingly integrated plants and crops can make a major contribution to the development of renewables, supporting this country goal of carbon neutrality, and to the expertise and know-how of companies in the sector, increasingly in line with the requirements of the transition to a more sustainable model.”
“The increase in these objectives”, stated Carlo Gaudio, President of CREA, “is supported with specific measures under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), while contributing at the same time to the achievement of the objectives of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC 2030), the three fundamental criteria of which will inspire action on research and innovation in the energy sector. The former concerns the finalization of resources and activities for the development of processes, products and knowledge that have an outlet in the markets opened up by measures to support the use of technologies for renewables, energy efficiency and networks; the second concerns the synergistic integration between systems and technologies; and the latter provides for a pathway of major decarbonization (2030), to which long-term strategy (2050) Italy has made a consistent commitment.”
The MoU provides for co-operation in all fields where the potential of the energy and agricultural sectors can generate value: from agro-bio renewable energies, in particular agrivoltaics, the integration of photovoltaics with agriculture and zootechnics, to the development of highly energy-efficient automation and lighting systems; from soil and plant protection to innovative natural remediation solutions such as phytoremediation; from irrigation and crop nutrition solutions, sustainable and high-quality agricultural production to applications of digital agriculture.
Tests and technology transfer will be carried out by setting up demonstration systems and plants on a representative scale. This work is accompanied by the dissemination of high-quality technical and scientific knowledge and new application solutions in the agricultural/forestry, agri-food and agri-environmental fields, as well as the promotion and enhancement of in-house competencies and the ability to network and to develop with synergy among the partners; all this is aimed at boosting the positive impact on workers and the production sector in the relevant industries and local areas. To encourage the direct involvement of business and local communities, the protocol also provides for training projects and the creation of a business advisory network.
Enel is a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the global power and renewables markets, as well as a main gas operator in the retail market. It is the largest European utility by ordinary EBITDA, and is present in over 30 countries worldwide, producing energy with around 88 GW of installed capacity. Enel distributes electricity through a network of over 2.2 million kilometers, and with more than 74 million end users is the 1st network operator globally1. Enel Green Power is the world’s largest renewable private player, with around 49 GW of wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower plants installed in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Enel X, Enel's global advanced energy services business line, is the worldwide demand response leader, with a total capacity of over 6 GW managed globally; the company has installed around 100 MW of storage capacity as well as, in the electric mobility sector, about 195,000 EV charging points2 around the globe.
1 Publicly owned operators not included.
2 Public and private charging points. It includes interoperability points.
CREA is the main Italian research organization dedicated to agri-food chains with legal status under public law, supervised by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (Mipaaf). The organization scientific skills range from the agricultural, zootechnics, fish, forestry, agro-industrial, nutritional, up to the socio-economic sector. It holds full scientific, statutory, organizational, administrative, and financial autonomy. CREA is made up of over 2000 people, of which about half are researchers and technologists, and is divided into 12 research centers, 6 of the supply chain and 6 transversal, plus the central administration. Finally, it has numerous companies and testing fields that allows to carry out research under conditions corresponding to those in which farmers operate, verifying the results and their applicability in the field as well as their dissemination to operators in the sector.