“Technological progress is changing the way in which we produce, distribute and consume energy, and electricity is becoming the predominant energy source in many sectors of human activity.” In a long interview with the weekly magazine Panorama, Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace reflected on the energy transition and the impact that it is having on our lives.
Clean energy for everyone. And bills will tend to fall over time thanks to the growing use of electricity as a replacement for of gas
Francesco Starace, Enel CEO
The starting point was the evolution that the energy sector is currently experiencing. “In the generation of electricity”, explains Starace, “the growing competitiveness of renewable sources is ensuring that the progressive process of replacing fossil-source production is now underway in an increasing number of countries.” Accordingly, as the share of the energy mix represented by the renewable component increases, the price of electricity is set to decrease and stabilise, as it becomes less sensitive to fluctuations in the prices of raw materials such as oil or gas. “The energy transition that we are experiencing at the moment”, continued the CEO, “will bring cheap electricity into our homes and businesses. Consequently, people are starting to think about using electricity to meet a number of consumption needs for which this possibility had not previously being considered.”
Mr Starace mentioned mobility, heating, air conditioning, cooking and industrial uses, among others. “Over time, families’ and companies’ electricity bills will fall thanks to the growing use of electricity in place of gas.”
In the interview, admitting that he was eagerly awaiting the launch of the decree on renewables in order to be able to finalise the Group’s investments, the CEO confirmed that the company’s coal power stations will close by the end of 2025, as indicated in the national energy strategy. Speaking about the rapid growth of electrical mobility, he explained, “When dealing with periods of transition as rapid as the one we are currently experiencing, there is the risk of arriving too soon or too late; it’s instructive to remember that the boom in renewable energies occurred in the space of just three years. And we want to avoid finding ourselves unprepared in the face of an invasion of electric cars launched on the market.” It is no coincidence that the National Plan for the installation of electric charging infrastructure is being implemented, with targets of around 7 thousand charging points installed by the end of 2020 and 14 thousand by the end of 2022. “It is not an extremely high number, but it is sufficient to provide peace of mind to anyone who buys a battery-powered car, and this infrastructure will be flanked by private charging points, of which we believe there will be around 150 thousand; for us, it is important to accompany Italians on this journey towards a gradual but inevitable shift to electric mobility.” The objective is to improve the quality of life in cities by shifting urban public transport to electric buses. “Not only would it be of great benefit to everyone, but it would also have a positive impact on the accounts of the municipal transport companies. We already have such an initiative in place in Santiago, Chile and it is enjoying enormous success.”
But this is just the start, as Francesco Starace reiterates in the interview, because the benefits that the energy transition is bringing are numerous. They concern the entire energy sector and, as the electricity group’s CEO emphasised, “in the automotive, electrical engine, energy efficiency and building heating and air conditioning sectors, Italy is seeing very high turnovers and is taking full advantage of the fact that the playing field is particularly well-suited to the Italian industrial fabric, which boasts companies with a high level of technological know-how”.
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Enel editorial staff