It isn’t necessarily the strongest species that survive so much as the ones that best adapt to change: the theory of evolution says so. Today, in a scenario that is constantly changing and made increasingly competitive by technological progress, companies are likewise obliged to change very quickly. This is also true in the energy sector.
Today’s utilities need to reinvent the way they do business: this means putting sustainability at the centre, investing in clean technologies that are becoming increasingly competitive and achieving a higher level of collaboration throughout the value chain and with other sectors.
The growing global focus on climate change requires a new awareness of the main risks, but also of the opportunities arising from them. The 2015 climate conference in Paris (COP 21) marked a decisive step forward in the fight against climate change, thanks to the plan for emissions control. This joint commitment was strengthened in Bonn, on the opening day of COP 23, when several major energy companies – including our Group – asked European institutions to raise the bar for the targets for the production of energy from renewable sources set for 2030. This was an unprecedented proposal that was adopted by the European Parliament in January 2018.
But the new challenges of energy transition can only be tackled by adopting a sustainable business model which is capable of working in synergy with the outside world and integrating all the factors at stake (economic, financial, environmental and social) to create shared value in the long term.
Our Group has, with its ambitious plan for the development of renewable energies, taken a clear stance in dealing with environmental issues: we aim for the complete decarbonisation of electricity production by 2050, thereby contributing significantly to the achievement of the UN’s SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) #13 (“Climate Action”). This strategy is not, however, based solely on decarbonisation, but also on “low-carbon” growth, thus favouring the transformation of both the energy market and the economy. Enel is investing more and more in renewable energies, while at the same time exploring new energy efficiency solutions and new digital technologies.
Electricity is thus becoming the driving force for a more circular, sustainable and versatile system. Indeed electrification in sectors such as transport and heating (e.g. electric mobility and heat pumps) reduces dependence on fossil fuels. And, by relying on new digital solutions and smart infrastructure, it also increases system efficiency.
The model adopted by the Enel Group is based on flexible, widespread and integrated technologies that allow the production and supply of cleaner and more efficient energy directly to customers. The digitalisation of networks, the development of new consumer products and services for energy efficiency, the promotion of electricity in transport and housing are all part of our growth strategy.
The digital revolution has also opened up new opportunities for the entire electricity market and is changing the way we live our daily lives: just think of the control of home energy consumption from smartphones, the intelligent management of public lighting and the increasing use of electric cars. The latter, for example, has many advantages: less environmental impact, the decarbonisation of transport, the improvement of air quality, the reduction of noise pollution in the city, increased energy efficiency, greater integration of renewables and a strong push in the quest for increasingly innovative technical solutions.
And it was in order to address these challenges and seize the opportunities they present that our Group decided to create Enel X in 2017. This division is entirely dedicated to providing innovative services and energy-efficient solutions for homes, businesses and cities that are smart and sustainable, in order to promote the environmental development of communities, generate long-term shared value and contribute significantly to reducing emissions.