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Francesco Starace: Enel’s vision for decarbonization

Enel aims to reach complete decarbonization by 2040, but how will it do so? CEO Francesco Starace outlines the Group’s plans

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The announcement came last November on the occasion of Capital Markets Day: Enel has brought forward its goal of complete decarbonization by ten years, and plans to reach ‘Net Zero’ by 2040. Today, it is essential to accelerate: as CEO Francesco Starace pointed out, the path towards ‘Net Zero’ is underway worldwide and the decarbonization and electrification processes for the global economy are crucial if we are to avoid the serious consequences of temperatures increasing by more than 1.5°C.

Over the past ten years, renewables have become the dominant trend in power generation: this has enabled decarbonization to proceed at a faster pace. The next decade will also be decisive in achieving the targets set by the Paris Agreement in 2015: the coming years will be characterized “by growing actions towards electrification, through which customers will gradually switch their energy consumption towards electricity, with improvements in spending, efficiency, emissions and price stability.” This is also shown by several recently published studies: reaching ambitious climate targets requires an acceleration in the electrification of energy consumption, together with a massive deployment of zero-emission energy. In this perspective, as Francesco Starace reiterated, customers will be the active drivers and the main beneficiaries of this process.

““The decarbonization and electrification processes for the global economy are crucial if we are to avoid the serious consequences of temperatures increasing by more than 1.5°C”

Francesco Starace, Enel CEO

In order to step up “from the previous decade of renewable energy discovery to the current decade of electrification,” Enel is mobilizing 170 billion euros of direct investments by 2030. The implementation of Enel’s 2022-2024 Strategic Plan – which was presented to the financial markets and media in November – and its vision towards 2030 represent “a turning point” in this perspective. As for decarbonization in particular, Enel plans to directly invest a total of around 45 billion euros in the 2022-2024 period, representing a 12% increase compared to the previous Plan, while further mobilizing 8 billion euros from third parties through the Stewardship business model. Furthermore, the value created by the Group for customers is expected to bring an up to 40% reduction in their energy spending, alongside an up to 80% reduction of their carbon footprint by 2030.

This commitment comes within the broader framework of the energy transition: Enel aims to exit coal generation by 2027 and gas generation by 2040, replacing its thermoelectric fleet with new renewable capacity and leveraging on the hybridization of renewables with storage solutions. Therefore, the electricity that Enel sells by 2040 will completely come from renewable sources and the Group will exit its gas retail business by the same year. These are increasingly challenging targets for meeting needs for which it is unacceptable to waste any more time. The only solution is to accelerate and intensify efforts: Enel is looking in this direction. This is evident in the words of CEO Francesco Starace and it is evident in the concrete commitments made by the Group in order to benefit people and the Planet.

 

Enel editorial staff