The new 2020-2022 Strategic Plan confirms this approach, explicitly integrating the SDGs into our financial strategy.
By promoting a sustainable business model and behavior, the Enel Group has the ambition to contribute to the achievement of all the SDGs, leveraging SDG 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development) to foster global partnerships to tackle the many challenges faced by the world today.
More specifically, the investment plan is aimed directly at four main SDGs that will account for more than 90% of the Group’s total investment in 2020-2022, equal to a total of €28.7 billion:
- Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7);
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9);
- Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11);
- Climate Action (SDG 13).
The purpose-driven strategic pillars of the new Plan represent the main industry trends and enabling factors connected with the energy transition and the achievement of the SDGs.
The trends in decarbonization and electrification, which are naturally connected with the generation and sale of electricity, will be enabled by the development of increasingly digital grids and the evolution towards a platform-based businessmodel and operational approach.
In terms of decarbonization, in a configuration of the scenario(1) consistent with limiting global warming within the levels established with the Paris Agreement, installed renewable capacity should increase from 35% in 2018 to 69% in 2040 thanks to the progressive decline in production costs and to the increased public awareness of climate issues. This evolution of the system towards more variable sources will require greater flexibility to manage the balance between generation and consumption. Accordingly, demand response and storage technologies are also expected to grow significantly, also in this case boosted by a steep decline in costs, which are expected to halve over the next 20 years.
(1) Useful energy - Source: IEA WEO 2019 SDS and IEA Future of Cooling.
In order to respond more effectively to the challenges posed by the rapid growth of renewable energy, enabling the Group to effectively supplement and accelerate the evolution of thermal generation, a common structure and management team have been created for all power generation. The major decarbonization objectives of the plan will therefore be achieved thanks to an acceleration of renewables development as well as the progressive decommissioning of coal-fired plants. The objective is to achieve an entirely marginal level of coal generation by 2030, with a 74% decrease in production as soon as 2022.
The target for increasing renewable capacity is expected to rise by 14.1 GW in 2020-2022 and will be achieved through a number of strategic lines of development:
- 5.4 GW will be developed in countries such as Italy, Spain and Chile, where new investments in renewable energy will support the decarbonization of our generation fleet;
- 5.1 GW will mainly be developed in Brazil and the United States, where an increasing number of large customers are moving from the regulated market to purchase electricity from renewable sources primarily through longterm power purchase agreements (PPA);
- 3.6 GW will be developed to support our presence in recently opened market or in entirely new markets, both directly and through joint ventures.
Thanks to these initiatives, 60% of the Group’s total installed capacity in 2022 will be renewable. In order to support the decarbonization process, the plan also envisages a significant contribution from the new flexibility services provided by Enel X. Demand response capacity will expand from 6.3 GW in 2019 to over 10.1 GW in 2022, while storage services will increase from the current 110 MW to about 440 MW in 2022.
Electrification which means the substitution of electricity for other commodities in energy consumption will play a central role in the Enel Group strategy.
In line with the IEA(2) sustainable development scenario, the share of electricity in final global energy consumption should reach 43% in 2040 (from 24% in 2018). This scenario assumes a significant increase in the average annual investment for end use, which in 2030-2040 should be almost 5 times that in 2018. The opportunities deriving from this trend will involve a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from distributed generation to energy efficiency upgrading for buildings and electric vehicle infrastructure, thus supporting the growth of companies that move first.
(2) Sustainable Development Scenario IEA (International Energy Agency), World Energy Outlook 2019.
Enel’s plan seeks to achieve a stable market share in the free markets of European countries, supported by a 65% increase in the number of customers and 21% growth in volumes sold on the free market in 2022, mainly following the elimination of regulated rates in Italy, which is currently scheduled to occur at the start of 2022. In South American countries such as Brazil, Enel is already benefiting from the gradual opening of the market with long-term contracts with existing customers. Further impetus to the electrification process will come from electric mobility, with the installation of about 736,000 recharging points by 2022, and more generally from the new services offered by Enel X.
In order to adequately support value creation from these two macro trends, the plan identifies distribution grids as one of the main enablers. The evolution of the role of distributors will be a key factor in supporting the greater complexity involved with distributed renewable generation and electric mobility, in managing the digitalization process driven by innovative services offered to customers and in ensuring the resilience of the energy system in view of the impacts of climate change.
Enel’s goal is to make grids more resilient and flexible and improve service quality. The average system interruption frequency rate is expected to decrease by 7% in three years, with a simultaneous efficiency drive that will decrease opex per customer by 17% in the same period. The plan provides for the number of Smart 2.0 meters to more than double, from 13.1 million to 28.8 million.
In parallel, the Group will invest around €2.5 billion over the threeyear period in platforms, mainly linked to the evolution of grids, the market and Enel X. The Group’s strategy is based on the opportunity to reap the benefits of the platformization of its business operations or new business models.
For grids, a global platform means standardizing operations and maintenance, customer management processes and the allocationof resources and systems, enabling global optimization and convergence towards a plug & play model that can be exported when new grids are acquired.
On the retail end, Enel will build its operating model around products and services, rather than local markets. The global platform will enable the standardization of back-end and front-end processes and systems and the development of global products. Enel X is a business model that was conceived as a platform by design, where innovative products and services are developed and delivered globally to our customers. This represents an opportunity for rapid scalability.
The new Strategic Plan, which is focused on sustainable businesses, incorporates a substantial improvement in our risk profile, consistent with the “sustainability = value” strategic paradigm.
Thanks to the measures launched to progressively reduce coal-fired generation, the decarbonization strategy is expected to reduce EBITDA at risk by about €0.5 billion over the 2020-2022 horizon of the plan. At the same time, the planhas revised the contribution of Argentina, which is afflicted by persistent economic instability, by around €0.9 billion. Owing in part to the new growth scenarios for energy volumes in the South American countries, these developments are associated with the benefit of volumes already contracted or related to regulated markets. In absolute terms, over the 2020-2022 period some 80% of the cumulative €58 billion of EBITDA will be generated by regulated or already contracted activities, and therefore only 20% is exposed to merchant risk.
With regard to the expected growth in renewable capacity (equal to 14.1 GW), while the gap to the target is just 5.3 GW, we can count on the existing pipeline of about 20 GW for the 2020-2022 period. Furthermore, about 60% of cumulative generation is already secured, with prices in line with plan assumptions, while the retail customer base will naturally hedge the remaining 40%. In addition, the progressive increase in renewable generation will produce a corresponding reduction in the level of risk associated with electricity generation. The risk associated with possible developments in the prices of commodities connected with thermal generation is in fact greater than that associated with variance of renewable sources, while Enel can also count on natural geographic hedging.
To pursue our strategic objectives, organic investment will increase by 11% compared with the previous plan, raising EBITDA by 13% to €20.1 billion in 2022.
Thanks to the strategies it is deploying, the Group will be able to achieve ordinary low carbon EBITDA of €18.3 billion in 2022, which will bring the contribution of low-carbon products, services and technologies to 91% of the total. Over the course of the plan, in line with the EBITDA targets, more than 90% of capital expenditure will be allocated for low-carbon products, services and technologies.
The strategy set out in the 2020-2022 plan is therefore based on the belief that the accurate and timely assessment of the main trends performed by the Enel Group is crucial for ensuring sustainability and growth into the future. One exampleof this is the Enel Group’s recent placement of the first bond linked to achievement of the SDGs. This bond, which was placed at a lower cost compared with an ordinary issue, confirms the potential inherent in the Group’s sustainability strategy, in this case lowering the cost of debt.
Together with improved operating performance, the ongoing effort in managing finance operations and the simplification of Enel’s structure will generate a 27% increase in net income. And debt will increase by just 3% despite the expansion of investment.
The progressive de-risking of our activities and the significant visibility of profits give us the confidence to confirm not only our three-year guaranteed minimum dividend per share policy, but also to establish a new minimum guaranteed dividend per share of €0.40 in 2022, confirming the soundness of Enel’s sustainable strategy, which will produce an average growth rate for profits and dividends of over 8.0% in 2019-2022.
The Group has also created the following indicator of developments in the energy transition.
Many of these indicators contribute to the achievement of SDG 13.
The Group is fully convinced that climate change can still be limited. The energy transition is well advanced, and to date all stakeholders are involved in the shared challenge of decarbonizing the sector. With the steady progress in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, the electrification of the economy and energy consumption will continue to accelerate. This will generate sustained growth in demand in the medium and long term, ensuring that society has cleaner and more accessible energy.
The Group continues to promote the economic and social growth of the local communities in which it operates, confirming and strengthening its specific commitments for the following SDGs: 2.5 million beneficiaries of quality education in 2015-2030 (SDG 4); 10 million beneficiaries of clean and accessible energy in 2015-2030 (SDG 7.1); 8 million beneficiaries of decent work and lasting, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in 2015-2030 (SDG 8).
People centricity is one of the pillars of Enel’s sustainability strategy. We pay great attention to our people, setting specific objectives designed to strengthen their roles and skills and provide the tools for managing the energy transition, with clear and precise goals in terms of performance assessments and business climate. We work to promote upskilling and reskilling programs aimed at supporting the energy transition asell as the development of digital skills, pursuing the goal of involving 100% of personnel in training devoted to this theme. The Group also aims to promote diversity by having 50% female participation in selection processes by 2022.
The management of decarbonization and people as well as communities is consistent with the “just transition” commitment promoted by the United Nations and signed by Enel’s CEO in July 2019.
Clear objectives have also been set for increasing attention to workplace health and safety, to promoting a sustainable supply chain, to forging an increasingly integrated governance structure and to managing environmental impact through the reduction of atmospheric emissions and consumption and the promotion of biodiversity.
Finally, technological transformation cannot be divorced from serious concerns about cyber security, where the Group confirms its objectives for disseminating cutting-edge solutions supported by associated verification measures (ethical hacking, vulnerability assessment, etc.), and fostering an effective IT security culture.