The amount of interest Enel will pay for the EIB loan will depend on its ability to cut the average amount of CO2 emitted by all its power stations to no more than 148g per kilowatt-hour by the end of 2023. The cuts will be verified by an independent party.
The loan from the EIB will finance projects to strengthen the resilience and sophistication of electricity networks in Italy. This work will help the network accommodate more renewable electricity and withstand the higher average temperatures and more frequent heat waves expected as a result of climate change.
Projects include the construction of over 5,000 kilometres of medium and low-voltage networks and the replacement of another 5,000 kilometres of medium-voltage cables, much of which is underground. Enel will also invest heavily in digital automation to improve the performance of the grid. Most projects will take place in poorer parts of Italy, particularly in the south, where the infrastructure is older.
To meet its CO2 target, Enel also plans to bring forward the closing date of some coal-fired power plants and has a three-year plan to install 20GW of renewable electricity projects across the more than 30 countries where it operates.
Financial instruments linked to sustainability targets accounted for almost one-third of the group’s debt last year and the company hopes to see this rise to almost 50% by 2023 and as high as 70% by 2030.
“When some people hear ‘sustainability,’ they think solidarity, but sustainability for a company is value,” says Enel’s Canta. “Sustainable companies are less risky and more valuable over the long term.”