On May 26th, Enel’s CEO and General Manager Francesco Starace spoke about the “profound implications” of the digital transition for “the evolution of many industries” at the EY Summit on Infrastructures. “I am referring to our industry – energy and utilities – where digitalization and materials science are the main drivers for the great energy transformation,” he explained in an interview during the “Digital and energy transition” forum.
According to Starace, the key to the success of renewable energy and of “what it has generated in the industry we are part of” lies in computing capacity and interconnection, which are crucial in revolutionizing the course of this field: “We couldn’t just watch as it happened, so we decided to make the most of this great lever of value creation, by both digitally transforming Enel and speeding up the process and outcomes of the digital transformation in the global economy.”
“Digitalization and materials science are the main drivers for the energy transformation. At Enel, we couldn’t just watch as it happened, so we decided to make the most of this great lever of value creation”
Francesco Starace, Enel CEO
Furthermore, the CEO stressed that resilience, capillarity and the complete digitalization of all networks represent “our three strategic guidelines to develop the electricity infrastructure”: today, the digitization of networks is indeed “a necessary step that requires extraordinary investment capacity, and which needs to be decisively supported by regulators from all over the world.” In a way, therefore, Enel “has anticipated the unavoidable conclusion that many operators in the energy sector reach with digital”: Francesco Starace pointed out that the events “so far” have gone “in the direction we thought,” in a world that seems to have now “resolutely taken an inevitable path.”
During the event, Starace also spoke about the Recovery Plan and stated he is confident “but cautious” with regard to the possibility that Italy can actually “deploy” the necessary resources. According to the CEO, indeed, it will be important to understand what this transformation entails for people, and which professional changes must be taken into consideration. “It is about setting up development policies that involve millions of individuals: there is hope in this, because Italians are extremely adaptable and are able to cope with such situations in the best possible way”: training, professional conversion and skills are therefore essential because “it takes a lot of people at work to put those 200 billion euros into implementation.”
In particular, “at Enel, we have presented investment projects for about 27 billion euros”: some of them “we will deliver, while others will go to third parties” within the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan). Enel’s focus is on two macro areas: firstly, electricity grids, with “the opportunity to take a step forward in our strong efforts for modernization and renewable transformation,” requiring “a doubling of investments in the grid in the next 4-5 years.” Secondly, the electrification sector, with the development of “charging networks for electric cars, and port electrification,” as well as “an increased production capacity for our solar panel factory in Catania, and projects for energy efficiency in buildings.”
Enel editorial staff