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Hydrogen and the Green Economy: Francesco Starace’s speech

Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace at the Rcs Academy Online Talk


Commitment is necessary “to turn the dream of green hydrogen into reality”. This was the key message from Francesco Starace’s interview at the “Hydrogen and Green Economy. Strategies, Investments and Technology” Online Talk by Rcs Academy, held on March 25. According to Enel’s CEO and General Manager, it will take ten years to make hydrogen a reality: this is the required timeline, yet “everyone is aiming in the same direction, and we will know whether we can be successful within five years”. In the meantime, however, it is necessary for renewable energies to grow all over the world, as “we will be able to get everything off the ground only if we prepare properly for the incredible demand for renewables that green hydrogen will generate”. The message is clear: “We must use the next ten years to electrify anything we can with renewable sources. Then, we will have to expand even more once green hydrogen arrives and allows us to decarbonize all the energy sectors that need it, to give the final blow to our carbon dependency”.

But there is more. As Francesco Starace explained, hydrogen must also be made convenient from an economic point of view. Its excessive production costs are indeed currently the main obstacle. “A lot of energy is required for production and the cost is quite achievable, but we are almost there”, Enel’s CEO pointed out. “And if we do not hurry, time will not be on our side”: the challenge is “to replace in ten years what we have built in forty”.

However, Italy is “one of the most advanced countries in the field of renewable energies, from both a quantitative and a technological point of view”. In the context of the energy transition, as Francesco Starace emphasized, Italy has made “a quantum leap in its territory, and with us is the world’s undisputed leader”. 

“If we can make green hydrogen economically feasible, we will be able to decarbonize steel, cement and other industries that depend on fossil fuels”

Francesco Starace, Enel CEO

Our country has all it takes to go for it: “It has no coal, no mines, no supply chains to lose. Italy can definitely succeed, but it has to concentrate on the difficulties that tend to self-generate”, and in particular those related to bureaucracy.

It is undoubtedly a demanding challenge and, as Francesco Starace remarked, one that has to be faced also with a view to satisfying “the increasing energy demand coming from huge areas of the planet”. However, if we can make green hydrogen a reality also from a financial perspective, “we will be able to decarbonize steel, cement and other industries that depend on fossil fuels”.


Enel editorial staff