Renewables, smart grids, sustainability, innovation, digitisation of infrastructure, and attention to customers are the pillars on which Enel has built its growth strategy from 2014. It is a model based on the idea of creating shared value for the company, for communities and for the environment. Francesco Starace, Enel Group CEO, was invited to tell more about it at "24 Hours of Reality”, a multimedia programme of the Climate Reality Project, a non-profit organisation founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner and former US Vice President Al Gore.
The programme features stories and initiatives launched around the world by companies, organisations, institutions and celebrities from the world of entertainment and sports who have decided to contribute to combatting climate change.
During the interview which was recorded on the 5th of December, Enel’s CEO focussed on the challenges that the company has decided to take on to decarbonise electricity generation by 2050, recalling the Futur-e project in Italy and explaining that the Group aims at making the market penetration of renewable technologies increasingly competitive and bringing them to developing countries where electricity demand will inevitably grow.
In order to avoid the past mistakes made by the energy industry, Francesco Starace pointed out that the first major step taken by the Group was to abandon a growth model based on large-scale projects, those that most impact the environment, focussing instead on flexible, rapid and widespread initiatives that can be completed in less than three years.
As Enel’s CEO explained, "We look at our work in a way that resembles agriculture a lot. When we invest in a new plant, we do so because we want to stay in a region and manage the plant for 20, 30, 40 or more years. And the only way to stay for a long time and be useful is to ensure that the communities that live there understand and share the value of the investment. There is no alternative".
The same episode also featured an interview with Kumi Naidoo, Launch Director at Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity and former Greenpeace Executive Director. Kumi Naidoo stressed the strong bond between finding an answer to poverty and providing sustainable energy solutions, underscoring the crucial role of renewable sources and recalling the farsightedness and strategy of Enel Group which points in this direction.