It is thanks to renewable energies that the Italian economic system regains its competitiveness, according to Enel CEO Francesco Starace, who reiterated this point in his speech at the “Italy and Renewable Energies” conference which was attended by Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
“Renewable energy resources have become very competitive, with quickly plummeting generation costs and a gradual wearing down of the competitiveness of conventional (or thermal) energy sources,” explained Francesco Starace, adding that the global trend is triggering “an explosion in investments”. One need only to consider that the generation cost of energy produced from photovoltaic panels sold in the 2005-2006 period was 490 euro per MWh, whereas today in auctions it is approximately 40 dollars. These figures only relate to solar energy, but this situation is also reflected in wind energy, which has dropped from 180 euro per MWh to 30 dollars in the latest auctions in Mexico, where Enel won supply contracts “with extraordinary prices.”
Renewable energy resources have become very competitive, with quickly plummeting generation costs and a gradual wearing down of the competitiveness of conventional (or thermal) energy sources
Francesco Starace, Enel CEO
Prime Minister Gentiloni stressed that “the development of renewable energy is essential for our entire economy, opening up opportunities in Italy and Europe and significantly increasing the number of jobs available.”
Enel’s CEO also highlighted that technological development plays a key role in being competitive on the global stage, as shown by the results from Enel Green Power, “the leading international player, setting a record in 2016 of 2000 MW installed in a year, that will be broken in 2017 with more than 2500 megawatts, a renewable energies capacity that many companies build up over the course of many years.”
The challenged to be faced now is digitization, which according to Starace is a “necessary condition to continue benefitting from the competitivity of these forms of technology”. In the Strategic Plan 2018-2020, the group envisaged investments of 5.3 billion for the digitization of technological assets (network and systems), activities and processes. Francesco Starace also expected “second large wave of investments” on a global scale which would involve Italy, and said that Enel would be ready to seize the opportunities that it provides. It is in this way that starting on the path to “modern renewable energies, that is, non-incentivised energies” will be possible, and the group will be able to begin investing in Italy again, as the Enel CEO declared, also mentioning the National Energy Strategy, presented last month by the executive committee.
These are processes that can only be beneficial for the country’s economic system: “Energy systems are gradually decarbonizing and the electricity costs fall and stabilize, not being volatile like hydrocarbons- concluded Francesco Starace – Through this transport, heating and a series of industrial processes become more predictable, less polluting and more affordable.”
Enel editorial staff