Columbia University, towards a zero emissions future

Published on Monday, 7 November 2016

“This is the first time that the top managers of leading utilities and energy experts have met to find solutions and put the decisions made at COP 21 into practice.”

During the opening panel, in addition to discussing the transition to green energy sources and the necessary incentives to ensure a widespread distribution of renewables, experts spoke about possible long-term strategies for fossil fuels. “Companies are faced with two options – stated Enel’s CEO – either they gradually shut down these power plants or they replace them with renewable energy infrastructures. So what happens to coal-fired plants? They are a traditional part of the energy mix in most industrial countries. The Enel Group has performed a detailed analysis of each plant: some have reached the end of their life cycle and will be closed, others will continue to produce energy until the end of their life cycle, as long as we continue to invest in the environment. Our project Futur-E plans to close 13 GW of installed capacity from fossil fuels in Italy.” 

“One thing is certain we will not build new coal-fired plants. This kinds of technology implies risks for the future and as such, it is not a profitable investment.”

– Francesco Starace, CEO Enel

“What about natural gas? It has served as an alternative for nearly 20 years. It is considered a transition fuel, but it is still subject to a high level of price volatility, preventing it from becoming a mature and reliable source for an energy portfolio with a long-term growth potential,” concluded the Enel CEO.

 

COP22 in Morocco Takes the Floor

The next appointment to discuss these major issues will be in Marrakech, starting November 7. For COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar, the conference is “an opportunity to give voice to the most vulnerable countries, in particular African countries and island states. We must urgently act on these issues, since our “stability and security” are based on them, he stated, promising that COP22 will be dedicated to taking action.

Enel has already taken such an action upon itself, through its commitment to concretely contribute to four of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals: ensuring access to energy, improving education, contributing to the socio-economic development of the communities in which the Group operates and the fight against climate change, as well as achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.