The Italian Ministry for Ecological Transition has authorized Enel to retire its coal-powered energy generating units at Eugenio Montale thermoelectric power plant in La Spezia, Italy.
The closure will enable Enel to move closer to its energy transition, decarbonisation and sustainability targets and follows the company closing its Genoa (Liguria) and Bastardo (Umbria) coal-fired generators in Italy at the end of 2020. The utility also closed its Group 2 of the Federico II power plant in Brindisi (Puglia).
The authorisation to close La Spezia and Groups 1 and 2 of the Andrea Palladio power plant in Fusina (Veneto) will enable Enel to retire a further 870MW in 2021.
The utility is investing in renewable energy and flexibility to meet growing energy demand as the retirement of thermal energy generation increases as a climate mitigation strategy and to align operations with changing business models, climate policies and customer demands.
At a global level, as of 2019, Enel’s installed capacity from renewable sources exceeded that from thermoelectric sources for the first time. This is an irreversible trend in line with the Group’s aim to achieve zero-emission power generation.
Enel will be investing €210 billion ($237.3 billion) to electrify and decarbonise its operations between 2020 and 2030.
Nicola Lanzetta, Head of Enel Italia, said, “The go-ahead for the closure of the coal-fired group at the La Spezia power plant is an important step forward in our commitment to the energy transition. Overall, with these additional authorizations, we will have decommissioned around 1,900MW of coal-fired capacity in Italy by the end of 2021.”
Commenting on the utility’s planned investment, Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel, added: “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. 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.”