The fight against climate change has become an issue of critical importance, with utilities playing a key role in the process through the innovation of business models. The issue was discussed in Vienna at the European Utility Week (EUW), in view of the upcoming COP21 conference, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will be held in Paris from 30 November.
The urgent need for a global agreement on climate change policies has never been so great. In fact, the closing session of EUW saw a lively debate between institutional administrators, political leaders and representatives of utilities worldwide to discuss low carbon business models.
One of the event’s panels examined strategies to support investments to promote innovation and involve end-users. The round table was attended by Andrea Valcalda, Enel’s Sustainability Manager, Monica Oviedo, Head of Sustainability Management at Iberdrola, Ron Wit, Director of Public Affairs at Eneco, and Sami Andoura, Sustainable Development Team Leader at the European Political Strategic Centre.
‘Enel is aware of the opportunities offered by the low carbon energy challenge and that it is our responsibility to follow this path. We must do so by transforming our business and matching the expectations of both the finance and investor communities and society at large,’ said Valcalda. ‘We are heavily investing in renewables, energy efficiency, smart grids and other sustainable, innovative technologies. Sustainability is the only path to creating shared value with local communities, and Enel’s efforts in this direction demonstrate the professionalism and commitment with which it is facing up to the challenge,’ he concluded.
During the event, Accenture and CDP presented their report Low Carbon, High Stakes, containing a statement by Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace. ‘Climate change is a reality, and the COP21 conference offers a historic opportunity to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. Enel is already fully committed to reducing emissions associated with its activities. As much as 47 percent of the energy generated by the Group is CO2-free, and we expect to achieve carbon neutrality ahead of our 2050 target.’
The report published by Accenture and CDP, which analyses possible solutions for a zero emissions energy system, highlights the key role played by utilities in the elimination of fossil fuels. The document describes five business models that aim to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while having a positive impact on the annual revenue of power companies.