Carbon emissions reduction is still a top issue in the political and economic agenda of the European Union.
According to the news agency Reuters, Germany is planning to propose additional cuts in emissions reduction for EU countries at the meeting of European Environment ministers to be held in June.
The latter was publicised shortly after the statements made by Enel CEO Fulvio Conti, who spoke as president of Eurelectric: "it is essential that the EU should establish solid energy and climate policies, apt to favour investments in research, development and innovation".
The statement was made at the presentation of the sixth report of the Energy Wisdom Programme, a European platform that collects innovative practices in emissions reduction.
Within the Energy Winsdom Programme, the Enel Group, through its subsidiary Endesa, distinguished itself thanks to one of its most cutting-edge projects: a 1.7 MW pilot plant for carbon capture and storage at La Pereda, in Asturias (Spain).
This plant, which uses limestone to absorb CO2, is the largest in the world that employs this technology and the first that uses it to treat combustion gases at thermal plants. The aim of this project is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of this technology, which has high efficiency and competitive costs.
The first results show that efficiency has improved by up to 5% compared to other CCS technologies, and during 2012 lab findings will be tested on a pre-industrial scale.
The La Pereda project confirms Enel's engagement in the development of emissions reduction technologies. Indeed, since 2002 the Group has been launching programmes to test and demonstrate the threemain carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies: post-combustion, oxy-combustion and pre-combustion.
In Italy, this engagement is mainly based on the Federico II plant in Brindisi and the subsequent construction of a demonstration industrial-scale plant at the Porto Tolle facility. In Spain, in April 2010 an experimental combined facility was opened at the Compostilla coal plant and several other post-combustion projects are being developed.