The Paris agreement sparks a new energy age

Published on Friday, 4 November 2016

From Paris to Marrakech, following a new energy path, allowing the seizing of the opportunities created by the agreement on fighting climate change signed almost a year ago at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21 - UNFCCC).

The agreement aims to avoid the global warming rise above 2° C, with the commitment of the 195 countries that signed it to make every effort to limit this increase even further to 1.5 degrees. In the pact, the countries also pledge to limit the amount of greenhouse gases to levels that can be absorbed naturally, within the second half of this century.

Along the lines of these ambitious targets, global political and economic leaders have been called upon to redesign their growth and development strategies, with the aim of turning them into opportunities. This was the main topic of the New York Times Energy for Tomorrow Conference, an international summit that on November 3 and 4 gathered in Paris 250 representatives of governments and industries. An event that is a prelude to the 22nd. Climate Conference (COP22), to be held in Marrakech, Morocco, from November 7 to 18.

Enel, one of the largest global utility companies to accept and endorse the agreement on the climate challenges, took part in the event sponsored by the New York Times, setting out its vision and approach to guide and promote change, leading to a new low-carbon, flexible and technologically advanced energy model.

"Our group has decided to change its strategy" - explained Enel CEO Francesco Starace, speaking at the Powering up energy transition panel. "We realised that we had to stop doing what the energy industry had been doing for too long, namely investing in long-term, over three-year projects, resulting in a large economic exposure. Our present strategy is based on the construction of many more - smaller - plants -, giving priority to those using renewable energy sources. A strategy that is easier said than done," said Starace.

Accordingly, the pillars of our Group’s business plan focus on more agile and sustainable energy infrastructure, producing a lower environmental impact for the local environment and communities. The entire life cycle of these plants - from construction materials to future dismantling - can be planned already during the design phase. With the circular economy and creating shared value approach applied throughout the whole process.

The other key element of our strategy is geographical and technological diversification, with a particular focus on green tech and network digitisation. "The expansion of the areas in which we operate - said our CEO - makes managing activity more complex, but only increases risks marginally. Our development plan has been highly valued by our shareholders and shared with the management. However, in order to implement this new vision we are redefining our organisation".

Therefore, our Group’s growth strategy strives to seize the opportunities opened up by the climate challenge: Enel – Starace recalled - is committed to achieving fully decarbonised energy generation by 2050."

"Our Group - the CEO concluded – is set on being best-in-class in customer service. To this end, simply supplying electricity is no longer enough." To conquer our customers we focus on providing innovative and green solutions and services, that promote electricity as the main energy carrier, and on responsible consumption, leading people into the new energy age.