- Conferences, children’s educational activities, and a fully electric boat for collecting plastic from the sea to address the issue of electrifying and decarbonizing ports and cities and increasing their circularity and sustainability
Genoa, October 4th, 2022 – Enel’s latest initiative ‘Sali a Bordo del Futuro’ (Get on Board of the Future) was presented this morning at the Aquarium of Genoa. It is a tour that will stop in several cities across Italy to address the issue of electrifying ports and marinas, and to highlight their strategic importance for the ecological transition of cities.
Despite being the most energy- and emission-efficient means of transport with regard to the amount of cargo transported, maritime transport is also a source of greenhouse gas emissions, especially during docking. This is exactly why future ports need to be sustainable, innovative and low emission; moreover, making buildings energy efficient and developing renewable energy sources and heat pumps needs to go hand in hand with decarbonizing and electrifying ports in order to improve the quality of life of the community of the city in which the port is located.
“Enel came up with the idea of the ‘Sali a Bordo del Futuro’ tour not only to talk about electric mobility at sea, but also – and most importantly – about integrated electric mobility, since ports and cities are two sides of the same coin, and the decarbonization of maritime transport needs to be combined with land transport,” explained Nicola Lanzetta, Director of Enel Italia. “Therefore, we are planning to enhance, in each city, the range of solutions developed by Enel to support public administrations and end users in their journey towards electrification. We also plan to get citizens involved in educational activities and workshops, so that they can find out for themselves just how important sustainability and the circular economy really are.”
“Electrifying maritime transport and ports is an essential step in order to boost the energy transition, which is already underway in other industrial sectors,” said Sonia Sandei, Vice President of Confindustria Genova and Head of Electrification at Enel Italia. “Specifically, electric boating is not only a viable solution when it comes to reducing emissions, but also an opportunity for innovation and industrial growth for the whole maritime sector and the Italian industry, not to mention a competitive factor for ports.”
“Now that our region’s and our country’s economy is starting to pick up again,” added Giovanni Toti, President of the Liguria Regional Government, “the ecological transition inevitably involves electrifying ports and terminals, decarbonizing logistics, and taking a circular economy approach. This is a crucial step not only for reducing emissions in a field that accounts for 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but also for accelerating business growth in the maritime industry, especially when it comes to green shipbuilding. We are at a turning point in the history of our economy, and we must seize the opportunities coming from Italy’s NRRP [National Recovery and Resilience Plan]. Today we simply cannot afford not to take into consideration the ecological transition and the opportunities it has to offer.”
“We are pleased that Enel has decided to kick off the tour in Genoa, which will also be stopping in various other cities in Italy, with such an important project,” concluded Mario Mascia, Councillor for Economic Development of the Municipality of Genoa. “Genoa has a large port that aims to become fully environmentally sustainable in a short space of time. Electrifying the docks and integrating electric mobility are crucial for cementing the link between the port and the city, developing supply chains based on sustainability, and strengthening Genoa’s role as a leading city in the blue economy.”
In order to promote its electrification, circularity and sustainability projects, Enel has entered into a partnership with the Garbage Group, which has been providing waste collection services in ports, at sea, and on land for several years now. The company has made the E-Pelikan available, which is a fully electric boat that will be following each leg of the tour, offering a service that involves managing and recovering plastic from the port waters. The boat can charge itself through the infrastructure provided by Enel X Way – the Group’s company specializing in electric mobility – and will serve as an example of ecological transition by electrifying ports and docks.
“For over 60 years we have been actively involved in cleaning up the sea,” said Paolo Balboni, CEO of the Garbage Group. “With this new fully electric boat, we were able to develop a special system: the ‘Pelikan System’, which allows us to collect all kinds of waste from the sea, in particular plastic, which, through recycling, can be recovered to produce both materials and energy. The boat also has its own drones, underwater robots, and probes in order to search for and monitor waste and, as a result, the quality of the waters it sails through.”
“The fact that we have decided to join the initial leg of the Enel tour reflects our commitment to sustainability,” comments Beppe Costa, President of Costa Edutainment. “We are delighted to be hosting the presentation of a project that focuses on protecting the sea by electrifying ports and developing increasingly sustainable marine mobility. In fact, protecting aquatic environments is the ultimate goal that our biologists, researchers, and veterinarians set for themselves daily through research, preservation, and popularization, which also addresses the problem of the excessive amount of plastic in the marine environment.”
Tomorrow, October 5th, the Genoa leg of the tour will come to a close, with educational activities scheduled for primary school children. Plastic collected from the sea by E-Pelikan will be processed to make artworks as part of a creative recycling workshop. The tour will then continue, with additional legs across Italy at Lake Como, at Venice’s La Certosa island, in Gaeta, and in Ancona.