New ideas are necessary, and not only for the development of renewable sources, smart grids and distributed generation systems: the entire energy sector has to be innovated and must change to adjust to the ongoing transformation it is going through. This also means thermal power plants must move in this direction by increasing their efficiency, becoming more environmentally friendly, implementing new technological solutions and changing their target uses.
The Guardian describes the Futur-E project conceived by Enel to come up with a new way to use the sites that currently house thermal power plants that are no longer competitive, a project that the Group is carrying out together with local residents, businesses, associations and governments. Enel has included 23 Italian thermal power plants in Futur-E, with a total capacity of 13GW.The project aims at assessing practical alternative solutions that can be carried out to safeguard employment and finding another use for these sites that will continue to benefit the communities, so that they can be converted into power plants adapted to the new scenario or be used for industrial or commercial purposes, or for public use.
The conversion of Enel's site in Alessandria is following the path of the International Contest of Ideas as an initial 'pilot' stage in a call to action launched to gather and enhance proposals submitted by various stakeholders or companies. Considering the local context and the recommendations that emerged following meetings with the local community, six possible new uses have been identified for the plant in the future: sports, cultural/entertainment; research and development; logistics; commercial; and cutting-edge manufacturing. These are valuable recommendations that will help to develop ideas for projects aimed at enhancing the site, so that it can be returned to the community with a new image and use.
At the foundation of Futur-e is a Manifesto explaining and representing Enel's vision and project for Italy in the field of energy. Transparency and participation are the characteristic traits of Futur-E, which has been conceived expressly to achieve the greatest possible participation on the part of the communities and of all stakeholders in the project to renew Italy's energy panorama. With Futur-E, Enel makes available to people and the country skills, expertise and local presence, with the aim of building together a new way to imagine and achieve tomorrow's energy market.