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Corriere della Sera: an interview with Francesco Starace

CEO Starace addressed some essential points, including circular economy, electric mobility, and networks

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The ecological transition is now an inevitable process, “it is useless to stick your head in the sand or try to stop it.” In an interview with “Il Corriere della Sera” on 25 July, Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace stressed the importance of understanding how to best manage this process and achieve the greatest possible benefit from it: “I say this also because we have closed 23 power plants in the last seven years, without firing anyone. At the same time, we have invested in renewables, networks, electric mobility and have promoted the electrification of our customers’ goods and services.

On this front, Italy is in a better condition than one might think: “For example, there’s no extractive industry to be shut down, there are no coal mines as in Poland, nor dozens of lignite-fired power plants to be shut down as in Germany. We launched a campaign for renewable energy years ago, and with excellent results.” Today, these initiatives enable Italy to have one of the most developed circular economies.

Suffice to say that the energy mix targets set by Germany for 2030 correspond to the current situation in Italy. Now, “what we have to do is go faster, further improve our energy mix and network capillarity, become more sustainable and less dependent on raw materials and fossil fuels imported from abroad.” As Francesco Starace pointed out, in this way it will be possible “to create more jobs than those that will be lost.

“The transition is inevitable. It is useless to stick your head in the sand or try to stop it”

Francesco Starace, Enel CEO

In his interview during the climate and energy G20 meeting in Naples, Enel’s CEO also talked about the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan): “Following its launch, next fall we will update our plan. After all, in addition to Italy, also Spain, Romania and Greece – where we operate – have provided important economic plans.” With the PNRR, the Group aims to “significantly increase investments in networks in Italy and Spain within five years,” and this is accompanied by “all the work planned for energy efficiency, apartment buildings, electric mobility, and green ports.

In particular, with regard to electric mobility, “our role is to support manufacturers in understanding which technology our network needs, so that recharging and using cars are as efficient as possible”: over the next ten years, “we will install 4 million public and private charging stations worldwide, compared to the 180,000 we have today.” This is the commitment made by Enel: “It means increasing our current business by twenty times.

As Francesco Starace emphasized, the Group is also looking to Sardinia, where “no one ever brought methane gas”, and conditions are ripe for a path of total electrification of the island. This is also thanks to the shutdown of two coal-fired power plants scheduled by 2025, and the construction of a new undersea cable by Terna, which will increase energy transmission capacity: “With the installation of 4-5,000 MW of renewable energy and a thousand MW of batteries, by 2030 we can make Sardinia the first region in Italy to align with the models of the future. And all of this while creating jobs and starting a virtuous circle.

 

Enel editorial staff