Energy, from Russia with confidence

Published on Friday, 5 October 2018

The spectacular growth enjoyed by renewables, the digital revolution, the demand for electricity from new sectors and increasingly decentralised management.

All these great changes caused by the current energy transition are generating a certain degree of optimism. These scenarios have been under discussion during the second Russian Energy Week, which is taking place in Moscow from 3 to 6 October. The event has seen the participation of many key figures from the energy industry, with several representatives of the Enel Group making a contribution, starting with CEO and General Manager Francesco Starace.

The CEO spoke in the plenary session entitled “Sustainable Energy for a Changing World.” This was the most significant meeting in the entire event, and it was opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Starace concentrated on two connected aspects of the energy transition now unfolding – electrification and decarbonisation. Global energy consumption is increasing, but electricity’s share of the total is growing twice as fast. In other words, the world energy sector is gradually being electrified. This is happening at a time when renewables are making it possible to eliminate CO2 emissions during the generation process in a cost-effective way.

The combination of these two phenomena is creating a virtuous circle  electricity produced with low emissions is being used with increasing intensity in sectors like transport and industry, and this has positive repercussions in terms of sustainability and protecting the climate, one of the most urgent global problems.

Environmental sustainability goes hand in hand with social sustainability, a sentiment also emphasised by the other members of the panel, including President Putin. The aim must be to provide energy supplies to all, enhancing the quality of life for people around the world. This objective is getting closer and closer to being achieved, even if there is still a long way to go.

Putin also highlighted another decisive aspect of the energy transition –  digitalisation. This was also the most important subject at the roundtable on the fourth industrial revolution, which featured Simone Mori, Enel’s Head of Europe and North Africa. When discussing the pioneering operations launched by Enel with the first smart meters, Mori listed some of the results that have been obtained – efficiency, which has enabled significant savings by clients and companies, higher-quality services (fewer interruptions), the active involvement of clients and the decentralisation of energy management.

The conference paid special attention to the situation in the host nation, Russia, which is one of the world’s most important countries in geopolitical and energy terms. In Starace’s words, Russia enjoys one of the world’s greatest concentrations of energy resources. Our CEO then confirmed his intention to maintain the Enel Group’s presence and investment in Russia, where we have also entered the renewables market.

This commitment was reiterated by Stephane Zweguintzow, Vice General Director of Enel Russia, who took part in the roundtable on investment in the sector. The wealth of resources and regulatory stability provide resilience even in a context of financial and energy crises, and this enables us to invest in Russia with confidence. Entering the renewables sector has led to opportunities opening up in technological areas like e-mobility and demand response. It is an established presence that looks set to grow.