Enel and Elettrici Senza Frontiere against energy poverty


Ensuring continuous access to safe electricity, produced from renewable sources in poor and rural areas of the planet is one of the objectives of Elettrici Senza Frontiere onlus (ESF onlus), a non-profit organisation formed mainly by volunteers from the electricity sector. Enel has signed an agreement with ESF to support growth, emergency and post-emergency initiatives in rural and poor communities.

The agreement signed by ESF and Enel’s non-profit organisation is part of “Sustainable energy for all", a campaign promoted by the UN to bring sustainable electricity to all corners of the world by 2030, overcoming the gap that currently prevents over 1 billion people from having access to electricity. The agreement represents one of the many ways in which the Italian multinational power company plans to carry out its Open Power strategy, a concept that was presented in November by the Group’s CEO, Francesco Starace, and which places sustainability at the heart of corporate business development.

‘One of the most significant projects that will be built by the ESF, along with the French sister company Electriciens sans Frontières (France), will begin in spring 2016 in Kenya,’ explained CEO of the non-profit organisation Stefano Sironi, from Enel France. ‘The project will involve the two villages of Ilkiremisho and Purko, located in the highlands north of Nairobi and inhabited by the Masai people. The villages will be provided with electricity through the installation of solar panels, which will allow the creation of small autonomous street lighting systems with LED lights, mobile phone and battery recharging stations, which will add to the distribution of energy saving light bulbs. We are also planning to install drinking water extraction pumps for use in schools, medical dispensaries and first-aid centres.’

The PV plant in Ilkiremisho will supply power to the new health centre, the primary school and the community center. A solar-powered water pumping system will feed a water supply network, which will in turn distribute drinking water throughout the village through six fountains. In Purko, the power system will provide clean energy to the new elementary school and the two new centres that will host 120 boys and 120 girls. Both the school and the two boarding schools will be supplied with drinking water, thanks to the creation of a well and a pumping system powered by PV panels. Drinking water access will be subsequently extended to the rest of the village.

‘Enel believes in the importance of a genuine and strong sense of social responsibility,’ emphasised Massimo Bruno, Head of Institutional Affairs at Enel. ‘The struggle against energy poverty, which according to the International Energy Agency affects 1.3 billion people around the world, will be the greatest challenge over the coming decades. With our new partnership with ESF onlus we also aim to play our role in ensuring that the more deprived regions of the world have access to inexpensive energy.’