Company to exit gas business, provide only renewable-based electricity by 2040

Enel, the largest utility company in Europe, announced today an update to its 2030 strategic plan, with a major increase in planned capital spending over the rest of the decade, as the company moves to increase its supply of decarbonized electricity. Enel also announced that it is pulling forward its net zero commitment, encompassing both direct and indirect emissions, by ten years to 2040.

The company stated that its accelerated net zero plan will not rely on offsetting measures such as carbon removal technology or nature-based solutions. Enel announced that it plans to exit coal generation by 2027 and gas generation by 2040, and also exit its gas retail business by 2040. Additionally, the company aims to have all electricity sold by 2040 come from renewable sources.

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Under the updated strategic plan, Enel envisions mobilizing €210 billion between 2021 and 2030, including €170 billion in direct investments by the company, with the remainder catalyzed through third parties. The plan marks a significant increase in planned spend from last year, which forecast mobilization of €190 billion with direct spend of €150 billion.

Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager of Enel said:

“This year’s Plan, with 170 billion euros of direct investments by 2030, is a pivotal one. Its implementation is enabling us to step up from the previous Decade of Renewable Energy Discovery, to the current Decade of Electrification. We are accelerating growth across the business, bringing value to our customers who are at the core of the Group’s Strategy, a value which translates into a projected reduction in their energy spending, while increasing their electricity demand by 2030. Furthermore, we are bringing forward the Group’s full decarbonization target by ten years, reaching Net Zero by 2040.”

According to Enel, the company’s increase in planned capex comes amidst an environment in which renewables have become mainstream in power generation, enabling a faster shift to decarbonized supply, while activity accelerates to switch energy consumption towards greater electrification, resulting in lower customer energy spend, and improved efficiency, emissions and price stability.

Overall, Enel said that it anticipates its efforts will result in bringing customers up to a 40% reduction in their energy spending, along with as much as an 80% % reduction of their CO2 footprint by 2030.

Highlights of the updated plan include an expectation that the company’s total renewable capacity will grow to 154 GW by 2030 – more than triple its 2020 capacity – with roughly €70 billion of spend earmarked for renewables in countries where the country has an integrated presence. A further €70 billion is targeted for infrastructure and networks investments to improve scale, quality, efficiency and resiliency.

Starace added:

“We will continue to grow in renewables, leveraging on what is already the world’s leading private renewable asset base. The Infrastructure and Networks as well as the newly-launched Global Customers business line will allow us to seize the incredible opportunities that electrification has to offer. The pioneering work carried out by all Enel colleagues and the advanced digital transformation of the Group will allow us to address the evolution of customer needs during this decade.”