"Innovation and new customers from all over the world. Our Open Power vision fuels the company": in London, participating in The Future of Energy Summit 2017 organised by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Enel CEO Francesco Starace pondered the role of utilities in the current energy scene. The matter was tackled during a convention also attended by Leonhard Birnbaum, Chief Operating Officer - Networks & Renewables of E.ON, and Peter Terium, CEO of innogy SE.
Innovation and new customers from all over the world. Our Open Power vision fuels the company
Francesco Starace, Enel CEO
In a fast and continuously evolving sector, renewables are becoming increasingly more important. The debate highlighted how almost everywhere in the world these energies are competitive and do not require subsidies. It is no coincidence that Francesco Starace, in line with the claims of other managers, pointed out that Enel is adding around 2 GW a year in renewable production to its production mix globally. And as regards environmental sustainability, electric-powered cars were also discussed again, an area the group has been committed to for some time. "At present, we do not know exactly what direction this market will take or how the value chain will evolve," the CEO stated, "but one thing is certain: we cannot speak about e-mobility without a widespread network of charging points." Enel is prompting sector development by developing innovative technologies such as Vehicle 2 Grid, a system which manages and distributes energy contained in e-car batteries, thus allowing stored, unused energy to be issued onto the grid.
Francesco Starace also underlined that the transition in the energy market "is not only in Europe and the United States. It is throughout the world, including Latin America and Africa. That is our Group's frontier." Today the challenge for utilities lies with customer loyalty and in this regard Enel's CEO has clear ideas: loyalty comes from focusing on supply quality. Switching from one supplier to another is often correlated to cost; however, "rationally, no-one changes due to price if they are satisfied with the service - they change because service is poor. Conversely, good service changes people's lives." That is why the Italian group has created E-Solutions, the new line of business which aims to launch digital solutions and products based on consumer needs. Enel's current model is based on "demand energy services". However, Francesco Starace specified: "In Latin America, many people do not have access to electricity and this remains true for more than 1 billion people throughout the world. These are our potential customers, and the ones who are stimulating innovation." He reiterated: "Companies are changing quickly and we are willing to accept all types of input from new markets."
Enel editorial staff