'Enel is first and foremost industry. This is what we are and what we will be,' said newly appointed CEO and General Manager of the Enel Group Francesco Starace, who discussed the business' future strategy in an interview with Italian daily Il Sole24Ore. 'Our Group has a deep-rooted industrial expertise: we have a range of skills that are an industrial asset for both Italy and Europe.'
In the coming years, Enel will focus on innovation, operational efficiency and sustainability, and aim toward growth and internationalisation. 'We will make the most of our skills, experience and expertise in order to both maintain the highest levels of competitiveness and profitability and to face the major changes that are affecting the economy and the energy sector,' said Starace.
This process of evolution has already begun in Italy, and it will have an important impact on the energy industry throughout the world. 'Four factors have aided modernisation of the Italian electricity industry: the digitalisation of the distribution network, distributed generation and the hundreds of thousands of plants that produce electricity, the growing importance of energy efficiency and the advent of e-mobility,' added the new CEO. 'The situation is unlike that of any other country. We need to continue in this direction, with renewable energy power plants of different sizes and more intelligent networks.'
As the economy recovers, Starace expects to see an improvement in European energy consumption. 'The debt reduction programme is carrying on, but we need to aim higher,' added Starace. 'Our aim is to reach a target of €4.4 billion euros of divestment by the end of the year, through the selection of an even larger group of assets that will all be put on the market at the same time.'
Enel will also continue to be active in international markets and will put particular focus on emerging nations:'We are focusing on Latin America, including Mexico, in renewable energy, traditional energy and their distribution,' said Starace. 'In the meantime, we are also investing in new projects in Africa, a continent that has great potential.'
Starace concluded by saying that 'Enel's industrial value is increasingly linked to the advanced technology at has at its disposal, as this is the only way to create development and value'.