'Today we can shape a new future for energy. And that future starts now,' said UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon opening the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014-2024), which was officially announced at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum (SE4ALL) that was held in New York from 4-6 June. The summit brought together representatives from institutions, NGO's and energy companies, including Enel, from 193 countries.
'We are here because we've realised that sustainable energy plays a key role in the Post-2015 Development Agenda,' said Ban Ki Moon, adding that thanks to significant efforts the objectives set for 2030 by the SE4ALL programme for the year 2030 are now realistic. These goals include guaranteeing universal access to energy, increasing energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewables in the global energy mix.
The role of renewable energy as a driving force for sustainable growth was the theme of the panel 'New Business Models: Bringing Sustainable Energy to the Energy Poor', which featured Enel CEO Francesco Starace as one of its speakers.
'We must take two important factors into account,' Starace explained, 'One is the small amount of energy poor people consume per capita. The second is that this small amount of energy is extremely important for of a huge number of people. At Enel we are carrying out more than 30 projects through our Enabling Electricity initiative and these projects have worked because we have been able to directly engage people. The combination of people's empowerment and commitment has made this model fly.'
Renewables are the key to global sustainable development, and the proof of this lies in data from the Remap2030 report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and presented at the SE4ALL Forum. According to its analysis, not only is it possible to make 36 percent of world energy consumption come from green sources by 2030, it is also economically advantageous to do so. Each year as much as $740 billion can be saved by doubling global production of renewable energy, which will also lead to the creation of jobs, increased safety and quality of life, as well as having a positive impact on the fight against climate change.
CEO Starace's strategy for the Enel Group, a world leader in the field thanks to its work with Enel Green Power, is to focus on the creation of a renewable and technologically advanced future.