“How can a utility company survive in the market today and be competitive in the long term? The answer lies in a pragmatic business strategy that invests in renewable energy, as well as in product and service innovation through a bottom-up approach.”
Maria Cristina Papetti, Head of Sustainability Projects and Practice Sharing at Enel, illustrated the winning strategy on the stage of the Film4Climate Global Video Competition in Marrakech (Morocco):
“Innovation that makes energy available to everyone and creates jobs. Change that is driven by education and training”
The competition, organized by Connect4Climate of the World Bank and sponsored by Enel and the United Nations, saw the participation of 864 videos by young videomakers from 155 countries. The goal of the initiative was to raise awareness about climate change.
Films driving change
On November 12th, during the COP22 Conference on Climate, the jury, chaired by the Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci and including prominent personalities like Fernando Meirelles, awarded Three Seconds by the American filmmaker Spencer Sharp. As the Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles explained, “It is a short film that stigmatizes the extreme seriousness of the problem and the need to take action.” In his opinion, “the cinema too can play a crucial role in bringing about change: it is a way of informing while stirring emotions and entertaining.”
Film4Climate was also the occasion to preview the new National Geographic series Years of Living Dangerously, which addresses climate change, and the documentary produced by Leonardo Di Caprio Before the Flood, in which the world-famous actor provides a first-hand account of global warming.
Rachel Kyte, CEO at Se4All, the UN initiative for democratic access to energy, introduced the issue discussed in the docufilm Power directed by Michèle Ohayon. Shot in ten countries, Power tells how energy is changing all over the world.
During the round table moderated by Tasneem Essop, former Environment Minister of South Africa, Maria Cristina Papetti explained: “Our company has just completed connecting South Africa’s first wind farm, built in Nojoli, a village in the Eastern Cape province, to the power grid. That means that a utility must be engaged on all fronts: by creating renewable energy plants and mini-grid systems and by innovating off-grid systems. But, first and foremost, it can empower communities by providing them with technology and teaching them to generate their own electricity. That’s what Enel did in the communities around Nojoli where citizens participated in the Liter of Light workshop and built 20 public street lights and 50 solar-powered lanterns. Access to energy is often and above all a matter of training.
The new Enel wind farm in South Africa generates over 275 GWh a year of clean energy, which is equivalent to the electricity demand of 86,000 households.