Albert Einstein once said that imagination is more important than knowledge. To demonstrate how creativity can contribute to the creation of a sustainable future, Enel designed Play Energy, a project that involved students from nine countries in which the Group operates (Italy, Spain, Romania, Russia, Guatemala, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil). During the eleventh edition, over 431,000 students from some 7,300 elementary, middle and high schools participated in an educational programme on new energy technologies, intelligent consumption and the evolution of energy markets, through information kits, lectures and visits to Enel power plants. At the end of the course, the children participated in a competition by presenting 3,884 projects to demonstrate their knowledge and propose original applications and solutions for efficient energy use.
Each year the competition focuses on a specific energy theme. At Expo Milano 2015, of which Enel is an Official Global Partner, the new edition focused on the links between food and energy and the objectives of both sectors: bringing production closer to the consumer, increasing distribution efficiency and promoting an environmentally friendly use on behalf of consumers. Like food, energy is essential for survival and an engine for growth and equity. New energy technologies also help reduce food waste and improve living conditions in developing countries. The final event of the competition was held at Enel’s Pavilion at Expo, and was attended by Enel Chairman Patrizia Grieco, the Head of Country Italy Carlo Tamburi and the Italian Undersecretary for Education, Universities and Research Davide Faraone. The three Enel representatives presented the awards to the 2014 finalists: 14 classes from Italy, four from Spain, Romania, Russia and Chile. A Colombian school, which had participated in a local project and which next year will participate in Play Energy, also attended the event.
'In 2040, the world population will rise to about 9 billion people,’ stated Patrizia Grieco. ‘As much as 80 percent of these new inhabitants will live in cities, whose populations will rise to tens of millions of people, posing problems in terms of energy and food. The energy demand will increase by 40 percent, while the food demand is expected to increase by 70 percent. The children of today therefore need to play their part in creating a new model for electricity in all of the 32 countries in which we operate.’
Enel rewarded the commitment of students and teachers with technological and environmentally friendly prizes, such as tablets, electric bicycles, book coupons and designer lamps. The top three national winners in each category also received funding to purchase digital materials for schools.