Enel to add 43GW of solar by 2030 as part of US$191bn plan

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The Roadrunner Solar 2 project, one of Enel Green Power’s existing solar sites in the US. Image: Enel Green Power.

Italian utility Enel will invest around €70 billion (US$78 billion) by 2030 to scale up its renewables and energy storage portfolio as it brings forward plans to reach net zero to 2040.

As part of a new strategic vision published today (24 November), the company revealed plans to add 84GW of renewables – including around 43GW of solar and 9GW of energy storage – by the end of this decade, when its total owned renewables capacity will reach 129GW.

Under both its ownership and stewardship models, the Enel Group expects to reach a total renewables capacity of approximately 154GW, tripling its 2020 portfolio.

With €170 billion (US$191 billion) of direct investments by 2030, the company’s plan is pivotal, said Enel CEO Francesco Starace, adding: “Its implementation is enabling us to step up from the previous decade of renewable energy discovery to the current decade of electrification.”

The group said the updated strategy will allow it to bring forward its net zero commitment by ten years, from 2050 to 2040, as well as help reduce its customers’ carbon footprint by 80%.

It is planning to exit coal generation by 2027 and gas generation by 2040, replacing its thermal fleet with new renewable capacity as well as leveraging on the hybridisation of clean energy with energy storage solutions.

The evolution of the generation fleet is expected to result in a 50% EBITDA growth for the group’s renewables arm, Enel Green Power, from €5.8 billion estimated in 2021 to €8.7 billion in 2024.

Enel’s current solar presence spans markets such as Spain, Portugal, Chile, Brazil and Mexico, thanks in part to a series of successful results in auctions and tenders.

The company bolstered its position in the US earlier this year through the acquisition of a portfolio of 24 development-stage solar and solar-plus-storage projects with a combined capacity of 3.2GWdc.

Meanwhile, Enel’s 3SUN module manufacturing subsidiary revealed earlier this year is looking to ramp up annual production capacity to 3GW in 2023, up from the current 200MW level.

Enel’s updated targets follow other European utilities that are aiming to increase their renewables investments, with Germany’s RWE earlier this month announcing an ambition to have 50GW of green generation capacity by 2030, the same figure that Danish utility Ørsted is looking to reach.

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