For Enel Group CEO Francesco Starace technology is the word of the day, and this means a focus in particular on more renewable energy and smart grids. 'Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the energy that we consume every day, from electronic meters to smart grids,' he said. 'The digital revolution has touched every field in which we work, including automobiles, where electronics are becoming increasingly commonplace.
'Enel needs to make the most of the head start in technology and innovation that we currently have on other areas of the world, in particular regarding digital networks, gas plants, renewable energy and smart grids.'
Focusing on technology will help Enel sell its expertise to countries that have a serious demand for energy and the need for new networks that will power cities and industrial networks. The agreement signed last April with the State Grid Corporation of China, the world's largest distribution and transmission utility, is part of that strategy.
Technological development is also essential for the production of renewable energy – the second pillar of Enel's future strategy. 'The most important factor for the growth of renewable energy will not be subsidies, but competition. In the future, development of technology will ensure the improved performance of power plants, as well as reduced costs.'
While emerging countries are rapidly building large renewable energy parks, the Enel Group CEO foresees a different type of growth for Italy. 'Italy has been delivering great results given its limited geographical area, and the country is playing a central role in investment and creativity within the industry. We are working on several geothermal energy and biomass projects and in the biomass industry, with Enel Green Power paving the way for mini biomass plants that are placed near the area that generates the resource. We are also continuing to grow in the domestic wind power, mini-hydro and PV solar power sectors.'