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Enel’s commitment

Net installed capacity

At the end of December 2016, the Group’s net installed capacity was around 83 GW. New installed capacity from renewables in 2016 was around 2 GW, mainly in the United States, Latin America and South Africa. Today the Group can therefore count worldwide on plants powered by renewable sources for around 36 GW of net capacity, which represent 43% of the Group’s electricity generation assets.

The removal from the scope of consolidation in July 2016 of Slovenské elektrárne entailed a reduction in installed capacity from thermoelectric and nuclear plants of around 2.4 GW and the removal of around 1.6 GW of installed capacity from the hydroelectric sector. In order to favor growth, a new development model was launched called “BSO” (Build, Sell and Operate), which is not so capital intensive and will further accelerate the development of Enel’s broad portfolio of projects in renewable sources worldwide. The reduction in the net installed capacity on wind and geothermal plants in the United States and Canada (around 1 GW) is, for example, due to the removal from the consolidation of some power plants.


Currently 46% of Enel’s power generation comes from zero emission sources. The net energy produced by Enel in 2016, of 262 TWh, fell by 22.2 TWh compared to the value in 2015 (-7.8%), due to the lower quantity generated in Italy (-7.6 TWh) and abroad (-14.6 TWh). In particular, the reduction in the energy produced in Italy was mainly due to the fall in demand, lower hydroelectric production and the greater unavailability of some thermoelectric power plants owing to maintenance. Abroad the reduction involved the removal from the consolidation as from the end of July of Slovenské elektrárne, the drought conditions in Latin America owing to the “El Niño” phenomenon, as well as the greater quantities of imported energy in Spain. As for the production mix, the change was due mainly to the lower production from coal (-13.3 TWh), nuclear (-6.4 TWh) and hydroelectric (-5.9 TWh); these effects were partly offset by the higher generation from wind (+2.1 TWh) and solar (+0.5 TWh).

The existing power plants enabled total production of around 86 TWh from renewable sources during 2016 (which represent 33% of the net energy produced by Enel in 2016, 31% in 2015), thus avoiding the atmospheric emission of around 56 million tons of CO2. The nuclear plants enabled the avoidance of a further 28 million tons of CO2.

Specific CO2 emissions

The specific CO2 emissions stood at 395 g/kWheq in 2016, down compared to the figure for 2015 by over 3%, due mainly to the reduction in thermal production from coal in Italy and Spain. Compared to 2007, the base year for the definition of Enel’s reduction target to 2020 of specific CO2 emissions, this value fell by 15%. Compared to 1990, the base year for the Kyoto Protocol, the specific CO2 emissions (in other words those relating to the production of a single kWh) of the Enel Group fell by 36%.

Over the years the reduction target for specific CO2 emissions to 2020 has increased (compared to the values in 2007), going from -18% to -25%, setting a target for that date to produce specific emissions below 350 g CO2/kWheq.

Specific CO2 emissions reduction target and performance (gCO2/kWheq)

The achievement of this goal is supported by a strategy which, in reference to the medium term and in line with the Group’s Strategic and Industrial Plan for 2017-2019, envisages spending on investments in the renewables sector of 5.2 billion euro and the installation of 6.7 GW of additional renewable capacity (including the BSO model) with a consequent increase in zero-emission production to 56% compared to the current 46%.

The 2020 target has been recognized as “science-based”, i.e. in line with achieving the decarbonization goals.

“Science-based target” is an initiative of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), UN Global Compact (UN-GC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the WWF to stimulate companies to set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets that are in line with the requests of science to limit the increase in the average global temperature to 2 °C by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial levels.
Companies’ emission targets are assessed compared to a decarbonization trend based on the scenarios of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Panel on Climate Change set up by the UN Framework Agreement on Climate Change. The scenarios set out 14 decarbonization trends to be applied to the main sectors of the economy, including for electricity generation. Following a review of the emission reduction data and strategy, Enel’s target to 2020, in regard to CO2 Scope 1 emissions, was below the trajectory for electricity companies and consequently was approved as “science-based”.
The target includes the operations to close 13 GW of generation from fossil fuels in Italy and represents a medium-term objective compared to the long-term goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.

An important recognition of Enel’s strategy in combatting climate change and moving towards a low CO2 emission economy was its admission to the “A-list” of the CDP.

Enel admitted to the A-list of the CDP

In 2016 Enel was admitted to the A-list of the CDP, the index most widely used by sustainable finance to orient investors towards companies with greater awareness of climate change issues. The A-list of the CDP index includes those companies which, from among around 2 thousand participants worldwide, stand out for the effectiveness of their strategy in taking up the opportunities and managing the risks of climate change. The score allowing admittance to the index also takes account of the completeness and the transparency of the information provided relating to greenhouse gas emissions. This year admittance to the A-list rewarded, in particular, companies such as Enel which are bound to greenhouse gas reduction targets that are compatible with the levels indicated by science, i.e. so-called “science-based” targets.

For some years Enel has also been active in the voluntary emission reductions sector aimed at those subjects (companies, institutions, end users, etc.) which intend to monitor or neutralize their carbon footprint, in other words the impact in terms of emissions of their activities (events, publications, products and services, both internal and external).

Reference SDGs: 
Main actionsTargets
Development of renewable capacity

~+8 GW of additional renewable capacity in the 2017-2019 period

Reduction of thermal capacity-10.3 GW in the 2017-2019 period
Specific CO2 emissions reduction

<350 gCO2/kWheq by 2020 (-25% base year 2007)

Environmental retrofitting* of selected plants

~500 million euro in investment in the 2017-2020 period

Sustainability Plan 2017-2019