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Almanacco della Scienza: Francesco Starace’s interview

A more sustainable and more human-sized future is possible: Francesco Starace is the mouthpiece of Enel’s objectives in this regard


In an interview with “Almanacco della Scienza” – the web magazine released by the National Research Council of Italy – CEO Francesco Starace presented Enel’s vision for the energy supply chain. He explained how the latter can be revolutionized in order to build a truly human-sized, autonomous and sustainable future. Research is fundamental: “The vision of companies is not enough, there must be a solid knowledge at the base of strategies, a knowledge which has its foundations in studies and analyses that can tell us what the results of our actions will be in the short and long term.” According to the CEO, knowledge is the key: “We must be open to discussion and to listening. The world of research can provide us with the solutions and indications we need.

The value of the partnerships established with entities such as the National Research Council also emerges from the numerous projects that Enel is carrying out to enable the energy transition and sustainability, which are increasingly at the center “of our Industrial Plan,” as Francesco Starace recalled: “94% of the investments planned for the three-year period 2022-2024 are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” The direction is set: “The last decade was that of renewables development, while the decade that has just begun will be that of the electrification of consumption, and people will be actively involved in this change.” These words refer to what the CEO announced in recent months: Enel has brought forward its “zero-carbon emissions” target by ten years, from 2050 to 2040. There are technologies and resources to reach this goal: “What we need now is for all the players involved to look in the same direction to create a fully sustainable model.” In this path, Enel also aims to involve “our customers by promoting the complete electrification of their consumption through an integrated offer of energy and innovative services, and cities by supporting them in achieving their decarbonization and sustainability goals with solutions such as the electrification of public transport, smart lighting, and other advanced services, using an approach based on circular economy.

“In order to build a human-sized future, there must be a solid knowledge at the base of strategies. We must be open to discussion and to listening, the world of research can provide us with the solutions.”

Francesco Starace, Enel CEO

In the interview, Francesco Starace also observed that decarbonizing and reducing energy costs are not contradictory needs: “On the contrary, decarbonization represents the best long-term solution and is functional to guarantee the reduction of energy costs. What is happening is caused, indeed, by the increase in gas prices, 90% of gas in Italy is imported and this unfortunately plays a decisive role in the country’s energy mix (about 50%). The cost of raw materials is a variable that we cannot control. Increasing the share of renewables and electrifying consumption makes it possible to use energy sources such as the sun, water, wind, and heat from the earth, which do not have a cost by their very nature and do not need to be imported, thus reducing dependence on abroad.

Italy’s PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) is also added to this framework. The CEO did not hesitate to describe it as a “historic opportunity” since it gives the possibility “to do some fundamental things in the long term, taking the road to a different kind of growth.” Enel presented projects “which envisage potential investments of 26 billion euros for two of the six pillars in the Industrial Plan, projects that can create about 104,000 jobs and increase the GDP of approximately 86 billion euros, about three and a half times the planned investments.” Francesco Starace also added that, in order to ensure that the Plan becomes a driving force for development, and therefore an opportunity for new generations, it is necessary to direct funds to projects that are able to transform the industrial structure, taking up new spaces in the world’s energy growth. He also recalled “Just E-volution 2030,” the report prepared together with The European House - Ambrosetti on the socio-economic impacts of the energy transition: “According to the different scenarios, by 2030 the economic value of industrial production could grow by between 113 and 145 billion euros in Europe, with an increase in employment of up to 1.4 million new jobs.


Enel editorial staff