To protect the planet, as well as to ensure its competitiveness and develop its business, the Enel Group is investing in the best technologies available for reducing emissions of GHG and pollutants, as well as in innovative research.
Enel's strategy is based on five specific approaches, which cover all of the main elements of carbon neutrality:
– Use of the best existing technologies: Enel's thermoelectric generation operations are gradually moving towards a mix which includes the exclusive use of high-efficiency plants, and therefore, reduced emissions;
– Developing ‘zero emissions' sources of energy, such as renewable and nuclear power: Enel's longstanding leadership in the renewables sector is being consolidated through its renewable energy company Enel Green Power, while an increasingly important role is planned for nuclear power within the group's generation mix;
– Energy efficiency: Programmes are underway to make the networks more efficient and initiatives are in place to promote the effectiveness of end usage through the group's energy service companies;
– Research and innovation: Enel is committing important investments to implement demo projects for CCS systems and to develop innovative solar technologies and intelligent networks (smart grids) from 2009 to 2013. It will also promote the spread of electric mobility;
– Global commitment to reduce CO2 emissions through activities to extend projects and best practices in Eastern European and developing countries. Enel will also use the flexible mechanisms introduced by the Kyoto Protocol (Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation), in which the group is a global leader.
Green from the ground up
Since 2004 Enel has played an active role in developing projects – especially CDM – to abate greenhouse gas emissions. Such projects make it possible to optimise the costs of compliance to the European Emission Trading Scheme system (EU ETS), while at the same time favouring the transfer of technologies and sustainable development in Emerging and Least Developed Countries.
Enel has implemented these activities by using a model of vertical integration through its direct involvement in the development of projects in all the technical, commercial, and authorisation phases of the project life cycle. Among private and single buyers, Enel is the world's largest CDM operator in the primary market. It has contributed with abatement projects that amount to potential avoided greenhouse gas emissions of 200m tonnes up to 2020, both by direct participation and through international funds.
Scouting activities on projects have involved the major developing countries that are currently active in the low carbon market, particularly China, India and South America, where the opportunity to generate important greenhouse gases reductions have been successfully developed.
Many of the projects in Enel's current portfolio are being developed in China, mainly thanks to the Sino-Italian Cooperation Programme (SICP), which was set up in 1999 by the Italian Ministry of the Environment together with the Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) and other primary Chinese institutions. The central goal of the agreement is to fully implement concrete initiatives for sustainable development in China.
Other initiatives include the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2009 between the Ministry of Science and technology of the Chinese People's Republic and the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Italian Territory and Sea. The objective of the agreement is a feasibility study aimed at constructing a plant to capture the CO2 produced and its injection into a petrol deposit, at a Chinese coal-fired plant, involving the subsequent use of the carbon dioxide, thus making it possible to improve extraction performance through Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technology.
The acquisition of Endesa, the largest Spanish electricity company and the largest private operator in Latin America, has further strengthened Enel's leadership position in the carbon market. Endesa has in fact launched Endesa Carbono, an operator specialising in the supply of commercial credit and the origination and development of projects to abate emissions for third-party clients. The Endesa Carbono portfolio can count on a wide range of projects, from wind to geothermal, to hydro and co-generation plants in a well diversified set of countries all over the world that are managed from offices located in Europe, USA, Latin America and the Far East.
One of Endesa Carbono's chief strengths is its active presence in these different markets, permitting it to identify CDM projects both in Enel's installations and in those of its customers. Its position in the US is also key to the start-up of the carbon market in this country, which has made a firm commitment to cut emissions.
The Enel portfolio includes 105 projects, in addition to its participation in nine funds, five of which are World Bank initiatives. The portfolio includes projects from renewable sources (68 projects including hydroelectric, wind and biomass), energy efficiency (15 projects) and greenhouse gas abatement from chemical and fossil fuel upstream activities (22 projects). The whole Enel portfolio accounts for about 70m tonnes of CO2 equivalent emission reductions certified to date, the equivalent of 12 percent of credits already certified in the world.
To effectively accomplish business initiatives in the carbon markets, in 2009 Enel created the Carbon Strategy Unit by integrating Enel-Endesa skills and portfolios. This unit acts as a single point of responsibility for the group's compliance strategies, origination activities, market operations and portfolio optimisation for all carbon credit markets. The Enel Carbon Unit is the key instrument to operate in all carbon markets for the implementation of the Enel Group strategic effort to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, by means of Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanisms.
Enel is Italy's largest power company, and Europe's second largest listed utility by installed capacity. It is an integrated player which produces, distributes and sells electricity and gas.
The Enel Group has a presence in 40 countries over four continents, has around 95,000 MW of net installed capacity and sells power and gas to more than 61 million customers.
Enel is also the second-largest Italian operator in the natural gas market, with approximately 2.7 million customers and a 10 percent market share in terms of volume.
The company's growth is based on a strategy of financial solidity and the profitability of its long-term business plan, while respecting stakeholders and the equilibrium among the economic, environmental and social variables.
Value generation, discussion with communities, safety for employees and suppliers, action against climate change: these are only a few of the commitments attesting Enel's engagement in corporate responsibility.