Electrification, a strategy for Europe

Published on Wednesday, 21 June 2017

“The electricity sector is experiencing an unprecedented transformation that is being driven by technological innovation, decentralization and a shift towards a greener economy”

– Francesco Starace, Enel CEO and President of Eurelectric

In order to succeed in the challenges that lie ahead, a new vision is necessary that places sustainability at the heart of business in order to maximize the social and environmental value that electrification is capable of generating for society and the fair and inclusive growth outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Flexibility is a fundamental condition for accepting change, as is an openness to creating synergies with technology, customers, cities, communities and other industrial sectors such as the automotive industry, construction and IT and communications; cooperating in order to create value beyond the traditional confines of the electricity industry.

 

Accelerating and innovating

In order to create long-term value for utilities and for Europe, it is necessary to begin by reinforcing the synergies across the value chain and establishing market regulations that enable investment in the medium to long term.

“I will endeavour to commit all of the main stakeholders in the sector to making the electricity industry a key motor of European energy policy in order to meet the great challenges of the energy transition”

– Francesco Starace, Enel CEO and President of Eurelectric

With this in mind it is fundamental to accelerate and extend electrification, in particular in the transport sector by encouraging greater use of electric cars, and also in climate control systems for buildings. This represents a necessary step towards constructing a future with reduced CO2 emissions and fulfilling the commitments made in the Paris Climate Agreement.

In the same way, in order to ensure the competitiveness of the electricity industry, it is crucial to innovate, building new cross-sectorial business models and establishing a solid framework for the aggregation of services, energy transactions, peer-to-peer negotiations and new services that enable the active participation of customers in the energy sector.

Digitalization, distributed generation and technological evolution are reshaping the role of utilities and consumers, with unprecedented levels of interaction.

 

Painting the present green

The role of fossil fuel thermoelectric power stations is still important in many European countries, in spite of the fact that in recent years renewables have changed the dynamics in electricity markets.

Therefore, there is now a greater requirement to work towards an increased integration of renewables, accelerating the restructuring of markets all over Europe, driving integration on a national level, increasing the quality and variety of services, the flexibility and security of supply, providing those in the sector with a solid framework to plan investments.

The energy transition towards a sustainable model centred on an increased penetration of renewables, thanks to the digitalization of networks and the development of innovative storage systems, is now unstoppable.

The moment has arrived to roll up our sleeves and accept the challenge of leading the decarbonisation of the European economy, developing sustainable and inclusive solutions in collaboration with European institutions, nation states, investors, communities and workers.

The European electricity industry has the tools and the energy to succeed and a unique opportunity to make a difference.