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The great transition: Francesco Starace’s speech

According to Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace, “the next ten years will be crucial for humanity”


This is the decade of renewable energies, but “we must hurry.” This was the key message from Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace in his speech at the national conference organized on 18 September by Fondazione dei Cavalieri del lavoro (Knights of Labor Foundation): “The great transition” was the focus of this year’s edition.

Francesco Starace, Enel CEO

“I am a nuclear engineer and as Enel’s CEO I have tested every single possible technology for power generation. We cannot stay halfway between nostalgia for the past and hope in science fiction”: it is therefore necessary “to act now, because the red alert for humanity has gone off and the next ten years will be crucial.” According to Francesco Starace, “there is only one path and it is clear: electrification, renewable energy and batteries.”

In his speech, Enel’s CEO also pointed out that the environment and the economy are finally converging. A statement corroborated by the scenario outlined just a few minutes earlier by Nobel Laureate in Economics Michael Spence: renewable sources are mature from a technological point of view and economically sustainable, so “the transition is not a matter of technology or economy, it is a matter of politics”. We have wasted too much time “studying, rather than acting.”

It is therefore more important than ever to have a strong transition governance, capable of putting into effect consent, speed of execution and administrative simplification. According to CEO Francesco Starace, this is no longer just a wish, but rather a real need. We are facing a crucial challenge – that of decarbonization – and we are living a decisive decade: “If we do not stem the growth of global emissions in Europe and in the United States, we cannot expect other countries to do so. It is our duty to carry this burden over the next ten years. Because, by the way, most of the responsibility is on us: if we look at the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere, 25% of emissions are attributable to the USA, 23% to Europe, 13% to China and 3% to India. Since it is convenient to do it, the sooner we do it the better. It is convenient and it benefits the community, so let’s do it quickly.”


Enel editorial staff