Energy Giant Enel Plans Coal Phaseout

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

One of the largest energy companies in the world, Enel, will from the looks of it be partnering (in some way or other) with Greenpeace, based on a recent meeting in Rome, Italy.

EnelThat meeting was between representatives from Enel that included the CEO, Francesco Starace, and Greenpeace’s International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo + Greenpeace Italia Board Chair Andrea Purgatorial, among others. The meeting reportedly went quite well, as there is now a “shared vision” with regard to an energy system based mostly on renewable sources + energy efficiency.

Worth noting is that while Enel has reportedly committed to gradually phasing out further investment into coal, there are apparently still differences with regard to timing — amongst other things.

A recent press release provides more:

Enel plans to move with Greenpeace in this direction, on a path upon which the new management has already embarked and, by accepting Greenpeace’s invitation, Enel is establishing itself as a progressive company in the international energy industry. Enel’s new strategic commitments are in line with the expressed aims of Greenpeace in their campaigns specifically targeted at Enel, one of the seven largest electricity companies in the world.

Enel shares the same concerns about the global climate expressed by most of the international scientific community as well as the goal to keep the worldwide temperature rise below 2°C. For this reason, and in the lead-up to the Climate Change Conference in Paris, Enel is ready to tackle this challenge and lead the industry’s effort to reach this target. Specifically, the Group believes that it will be able to achieve its own carbon neutrality before the deadline of 2050 in particular by boosting its already significant investment in renewable development and in promoting energy efficiency.

Enel has reportedly already cut its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 36% since 1990 — with 15% of that cut coming during the years of 2007–2013. This puts the company a good bit ahead of the target set for 2020.

Still not sure where my exact opinion on Greenpeace lies… but still good to see a company as large as Enel make further overtures towards renewables, and away from fossil fuels.

Here’s some more recent news from Enel:

Enel Begins Work On 3 Solar PV Plants In South Africa Totalling 231 MW

Enel Reportedly Just Weeks Away From US Renewable Assets Yieldco

Enel Green Power Sees 11.1% Revenue Growth

Image Credit: Enel

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

8 thoughts on “Energy Giant Enel Plans Coal Phaseout

  • You are right to have residual doubts about Greenpeace. Its structure is the “democratic centralism” pioneered by the Papacy and Lenin: a self-coopting leadership seeks support for campaigns and raises funds from a large pool of sympathisers, but isn’t formally accountable to them. The scheme allows for decisive leadership and concentration on priorities, as here with lobbying of vulnerable and nervous utility corporations. It also allows for hobby-horses, as with GM foods.

    The moral is: don’t support Greenpeace as such. Support its good campaigns, ignore or oppose the bad ones.

  • “Enel has reportedly committed to gradually phasing out further investment into coal”

    So they are going to gradually slow down building new coal plants or expanding existing one? So in 100-150 years they will be done using coal to generate electricity? Their green power see 11% revenue growth, hardly a major pivot. They are ahead of some utilities in seeing the writing on the wall. But that green power growth is so low, they are still dragging their feet.

    • The good news is that coal power stations are no longer very profitable to build, and even in situations where new coal capacity might look like it can pay for itself investors have to consider carbon prices being raised in the future or being introduced if they don’t already exist, and they must also consider the effect that increasing wind and solar capacity are going to have on pushing down future wholesale electricity prices. So the building of new coal plants is basically going to stop thanks to competitiion from cheaper renewables. The danger is that existing coal plants will continue to operate for decades to come. These are going to require a carbon price to drive them into retirement. So either Enel is going to go renewable, or they are going to move out of electricity generation.

      • Agreed, was just noting that when you consider you comments. That this announcement is a bit of a non-event, past a bit of green washing. Having only 11% growth in their RE is flat lining.

      • It’s not just the wholesale price, it’s the merit order. A rational grid manager facing an increase in load picks the next cheapest supplier. Renewables are always at the top of the list, fossil at the bottom. So coal plants face a future of steadily falling capacity factors. Uh-uh.

        • Worst than that. In merit order markets a cheaper supplier entering the market lowers profits for the other suppliers. Everyone gets the price paid the highest cost producer.

          That means that thermal plants which are already suffering from late night low settling prices due to NG and wind will now be losing their ability to recover some of that loss via high peak hour prices.

          And not only merit markets. We’ve just seen Florida Power and Light purchase a coal plant simply to close it down. They had a long time PPA with the plant but new suppliers greatly undercut that price. It was cheaper for FPL to buy the plant for $250 million and close it than to lose money buying its power from now until the end of the contract.

          (Makes one think of Hinkley Point and its 35 year contract, does it not?)

        • And even in primitive societies where generating capacity used is determined entirely by prices, renewables can always bid a thousandth of a cent a kilowatt-hour, or whatever the minimum increment is, below the cheapest fossil fuel producer since their fuel is basically free, ensuring their supply is selected first.

  • I’ve looked at their 2015-2019 strategic plan, an am less than impressed.
    (See and look for 2015-2019 strategic plan. Right now it’s linked on their home page.)

    One key fact is that from 2014 to 2020 they plan to reduce their CO2 out put from 395 g/kWheq to around 380 gCO2/kWheq.

    They are ‘planning’ on becoming carbon neutral by 2050. But that seems more a case of ‘let’s promise the moon in 35 years, we won’t be around to be called on it.’
    If they were giving a path to carbon neutrality I’d be less skeptical, but as it is,meh.

Comments are closed.