Italian energy giant Enel commits to coal investment phase-out

Italian energy giant Enel commits to coal investment phase-out

Italian energy company Enel has announced that it will phase out its future investments in coal, becoming arguably the first large multinational utility to do so.

Enel has also stated that it will lead the power industry to meet the global warming target of two degrees – over which dangerous climate change is expected to take place.

Ahead of the release of Enel’s 2015 business plan on 19 March, the part-state-controlled firm said it “committed to gradually phasing out further investment in coal”.

Instead, it would “further focus on boosting investment in renewable sources, energy efficiency, smart grids and storage systems” in order to go carbon neutral before 2050, it said in a joint statement with Greenpeace.

Last year the company decided to shut down 13GW of its fossil fuel burning capacity in Italy by 2020 and also cancelled two planned coal plants – a 2GW one in Porto Tolle and one in Chile, at Punta Alcalde.

The news came after a recent report found that twice as many coal plants are being retired than are being built, and warned that coal plants may become stranded assets in a world that does not exceed the threshold of 2 degrees of global warming. A recent Nature paper revealed 82% of coal reserves must be left underground.

It also follows German energy giant E.On reporting record losses, and RWE’s bleak results published last week – both businesses rely heavily on coal, though E.On split its business into a renewables part and fossil fuel part last year.

Source: Energy Desk

Date: March, 2015

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