South Africa Races towards a Green Future

Published on Tuesday, 8 March 2016

A company can contribute to the development of a community through a rational use of resources, the application of innovative technological solutions and the promotion of important initiatives throughout the territory. The Enel Group (which has designed a plan to ensure a full integration of sustainable activities into all phases of the employment process) strongly supports sports events, among other initiatives, which embrace corporate values such as commitment, dedication and the desire to improve on a daily basis. Cycling is a perfect example of the great effort that we have put towards the large-scale promotion of zero-emission mobility for nearly a decade. So it isn’t a coincidence that we were the sponsor for the Road Cycling World Championships in 2013 and that we are the sponsor for the Giro d’Italia bicycle race’s “pink jersey” for the next three years.

Our CEO Francesco Starace participated in the 39th edition of South Africa’s Cape Town Cycle Tour, the world’s largest individually timed cycle race, which this year saw the participation of 35,000 cyclists. The 109-kilometer environmentally friendly route is located in a country that currently has among the highest CO2 emission levels in the world – a country that is expected to rank among the top 15 countries in the world for its total “clean” energy capacity by 2030, thanks to its renewable energy development plan.

Our renewed commitment continues to place us at the forefront of the sector as global leaders. Today we are the leading renewable energy operator in South Africa. In 2014 we connected our first photovoltaic plant in Upington (in the Northern Cape Province) and today we are building 6 facilities, including four solar plants and two wind power plants, for a total of 595 MW of installed capacity. We have also been awarded six wind projects in the fourth phase of the public tender promoted by the Government, “Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme”.

Our ties with South Africa are not limited to power plants. In fact, we have founded the Enel Green Academy, an actual clean energy school, where we offer free intensive classes to local youth, high school graduates or people looking for their first job, teaching them to install, manage and maintain solar panels.

We have also begun to offer families and small businesses innovative solutions to promote energy independence, as well as the use of sustainable electricity in their homes, by integrating small photovoltaic plants with domestic energy storage systems (http://www.enelenergy.co.za). The Green Revolution has also begun in South Africa, and we are honoured to play a key role in the path to zero emissions – the same that many developing countries are already successfully travelling in Africa.