Enel, renewables overtake fossil fuels


Europe is fostering a new energy paradigm based on energy efficiency, distributed generation and electric mobility, while the growth of developing countries will be driven by renewable sources. After nearly a century of fairly slow evolution, the world's power system is experiencing a period of significant and speedy change, and Enel, a leader in the sector, is responding with a radical change. The Group's 2015-2019 business plan provides for a substantial increase in the capacity that uses renewable sources (namely 7.1 GW, in addition to the 9.6 GW that have already been installed), thus enabling 'green' production to surpass fossil fuels in the multinational power corporation's portfolio. 'The business plan provides for a considerable increase in renewable energy investment, and along with the closure of a number of coal plants that are no longer productive, it will lead to a reduction of thermal generation in the Group's energy mix,' explained Enel's CEO, Francesco Starace. 'In 2019, Enel's production from fossil fuels will account for less than 50 percent, and the number will continue to decrease.'

Renewable sources are the ideal solution for developing countries that lack energy, particularly in Latin America and Africa. A quantitative growth of green plants, which is facilitated by an abundance of resources and a strong demographic and economic growth.

Electricity demand has been decreasing during the past few years in European countries that are considered more “mature” in terms of energy production, due to demographic reasons and the implementation of efficiency practices. This does not imply that there is no room for growth, which will instead be qualitative. 'There is no need to build new infrastructures, rather to transform them.' Starace highlighted. 'In fact, future utilities will focus on distribution rather than concentrating only, or mostly, on generation. There is great deal of innovation on networks, starting from large-scale digitisation.' Renewables will play a key role thanks to distributed generation, which changes the current energy paradigm. A simple solar panel installed on the roof of a home, will allow users be both energy producers and consumers, integrating the extra energy that has been generated into the power grid.

The Enel Group's 2015-2019 strategy is consistent with the company's commitment to the fight against climate change. Enel has been active in this field since 2009, through its participation in the initiative of the Eurelectric association, which involves 60 companies committed to transforming the European electricity sector into a “neutral” industry in terms of CO2 emissions by 2050.