Cities play a decisive role in the use of energy. According to Francesco Starace, it is therefore essential to work on them “if we want a more sustainable path for the planet”. On June 28, Enel’s CEO spoke on this topic at the EY Italy Outlook Talk, a series of events attended by representatives of institutions and companies to investigate together the change and the challenges that the country must face.
Specifically, Francesco Starace had the opportunity to speak with the Minister of Labor and Social Inclusion Andrea Orlando about the effects of the energy transition on the world of work and on people, who are increasingly at the center of Enel’s commitment. “Well-being, continuous learning, and safety are the pillars of the ‘Statuto della Persona’ (‘Charter of the Person’ – ed.), a work model that marks a cultural transformation,” the CEO recalled, referring to the protocol signed by Enel and the trade unions Filctem Cgil, Flaei Cisl, and Uiltec Uil with a view to developing a new model of labor relations in which people and their needs are at the center.
On the other hand, even in light of the profound transformation brought about by the energy transition, today there is an increasing need for “skilled people not only within companies but throughout the whole system”. Just think of the PNRR (Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan), a necessary tool that indicates the projects to be focused on between now and 2026. However, “we need work that transforms intentions into effects, and someone has to do it”. Investing in training and skills is essential. Enel promptly took action by implementing “Energie per Crescere” (“Energy for Growth”) and other dedicated projects: “We discovered that about 10,000 more technicians are needed to invest in the electricity grids. Where are these people? There are none around. We therefore started a training program for network technicians, with ten training centers around Italy. These people will not be hired by us, they will be available for all related activities.”
“Cities play a crucial role in building a sustainable path for the planet. It is necessary to commit ourselves in order to improve these three aspects: quality of life, relationships, and energy use”
Francesco Starace, Enel CEO
Therefore, cities also play some part in the context of the energy transition: “It will increasingly be a priority to understand the layout of cities in order to reduce our impact on the environment, committing ourselves to the Zero Emissions target,” Francesco Starace reaffirmed, hoping that “Italian public administration bodies are able to understand the benefit of electric traction for moving people around cities”. It is essential to work on the use of metropolitan infrastructure in the world, so that it can be improved: “There are many ways to do this. Our ‘Net Zero Carbon Cities’ initiative has shown how large cities can use all city infrastructure more efficiently, so as to allow improvements in quality of life, in relationships between people, and in the use of energy and raw materials.”
Energy initiatives and data analysis for infrastructure: “Lighting points are the most widespread infrastructure in cities. No one ever talks about the urban public lighting network, but it is pervasive. We have combined the basic service with the detection and the intelligent exchange of data to enable the administrative authorities of large cities to understand, intervene, and improve what happens.” Among the various pilot projects mentioned by Enel’s CEO is the one on urban public transport, which began in Santiago in Chile and then continued in Bogotá and São Paulo: “Starting with a test, we now have around 3,000 electric-powered public buses in operation. It is the largest electric bus fleet outside of China. In Italy we have 17. This is our worry. We hope that sooner or later Italian public administration bodies will understand the benefit.”
Enel editorial staff