The next 10 years will be crucial for the planet’s energy and climate future. They will also be decisive for our well-being and prosperity. Europe has set itself the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55%, the US is pushing for major electrification and renewable energy development plans, India and China are betting on reducing the use of coal-based energy, while electric vehicles and rechargeable-battery technologies will become increasingly widespread.
The new time frame for decarbonising the economy is focused on 2030. This political benchmark has also conquered the world of economics, thanks to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to ESG ratings (which certify the environmental, social, and governance quality of a provider, stock, or fund), and to the decarbonisation plans required by the Paris Agreement.
Electrification is the keyword for the low carbon revolution, according to what Enel Group CFO Alberto De Paoli said at the latest #EnelMeet, titled ‘Enel’s 2030 strategic vision: a decade of opportunities’. “While still drawing from different sources, there will be a tendency to flow towards a single type of energy, electricity, which is unique in ensuring sustainable development and fighting climate change”, De Paoli explained. 2020 made it clear that the energy transition has experienced an unprecedented acceleration, akin to what happened with the dot-com revolution. The turnaround is now unstoppable, as demonstrated in the financial world, where fossil fuel investments are increasingly being avoided, following a true craze for the green transition. Enel Group intends to decisively follow this change, anticipating trends and timings.
“The energy system in 2030 will be completely different to what we see today”, De Paoli continued. “In it, millions of objects will be connected through the electrical grid: solar panels, batteries, electric cars, small electronic gadgets”. In the same way that Google connects billions of information points through the internet, the electrical grid will become a mega-infrastructure, diffuse and decentralised, made up of myriad objects able to communicate simultaneously, dynamically configured to optimise the supply and demand of electricity.
“Utilities will have to break the mould and become digital companies. This is not a simple process. It is a huge step”, notes De Paoli, highlighting the revolution’s scope.
Enel, agent of change
For years, Enel has been preparing for this transition, through constant investments in digitisation, procedure innovation, the circular economy, and, of course, renewables. Today, the company is positioned as a world leader in terms of renewables, with 49 GW of installed capacity, and distribution, with the largest serviced network and about 74 million final users. Furthermore, The Group boasts a client base of almost 70 million, the largest in the world.
Financial data undoubtedly rewards this decision: in 2020, Enel Group achieved an ordinary net profit of 5.2 billion euro (+9%). However, financial performance is not the company’s sole value. Being an agent of change, overcoming the mistakes of the past, is the Group’s true asset, a type of capital that deserves major investment.
The idea of a company that works to create value not just for its shareholders and bottom line, but for all stakeholders (including, in theory, all of us), truly does seem to be revolutionary.
In collaboration with Enel