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|Type||Società per azioni|
FTSE MIB Component
|Founded||27 November 1962|
|Worldwide (see section)|
|Michele Crisostomo (Chairman)|
Francesco Starace (CEO)
|Products||electricity generation and distribution; natural gas distribution|
|Revenue||€65.0 bln (2020)|
|€8.4 billion (2020)|
|€2.6 bln (2020)|
|Total assets||€163.5 billion (2020)|
|Total equity||€42.4 bln (2020)|
|Owner||Government of Italy (23.58%)|
Number of employees
Enel S.p.A. is an Italian multinational manufacturer and distributor of electricity and gas.
Enel, which originally stood for Ente nazionale per l'energia elettrica (National Electricity Board), was first established as a public body at the end of 1962, and then transformed into a limited company in 1992. In 1999, following the liberalization of the electricity market in Italy, Enel was privatized.
Enel is the 73rd largest company in the world by revenue, with €65.0 billion in 2020. As of 2020, Enel had a stock market capitalization of €82 billion, making it Europe's largest utility by capitalization. As of 2018, Enel is also the second largest power company in the world by revenue after the State Grid Corporation of China.
1898–1962: Towards a national policy for electricity
In 1898, the production of electricity in Italy was 100 GWh, and had a value of over $56 billion by 1960.[clarification needed] The majority of the electricity was produced by regional private companies, or by companies linked to other industrial bodies, that were both local and regional, by exploiting the specific characteristics of the territory: its hydrogeological resources.
The state subsidised the construction of power stations and other necessary construction work in a territory in order to increase the production of electricity. In 1961, the state regulated distribution with unified national tariffs set on the basis of equal consumption classes (through the Equalisation Fund for the Electricity Sector: 137 ), and by requiring power companies to provide access to electricity for everyone.
In 1962, the government institutionalised the Entity for electricity with the aim of making electricity a means for the development of the country and in order to define a national policy for electricity based on the experiences of other countries such as France and the United Kingdom.
1962: Establishment of the National Electricity Board
At the beginning of 1962, the Fanfani IV Cabinet committed the government to put together a proposal for the unification of the national electricity system within three months of the parliament passing a confidence motion.
During the Chamber of Deputies assembly of 26 June 1962, the government presented a bill that sanctioned the principles and procedures for the establishment of the Ente Nazionale per l'energia Elettrica (E.N.EL).
According to the bill, Enel was going to acquire all assets of companies producing, processing, transmitting, and distributing electricity, with the exception of self-producers—companies that produced more than 70% of their electricity for other production processes—(the same exception was later applied to municipal authorities), and of small businesses that did not produce more than 10 million kilowatt hours per year.
Procedures to assess the value of the acquired companies were defined, and it was established that compensation was to be paid to creditors in 10 years at an interest rate of 5.5%. Within this framework, 1962 was to be considered a transition year, in which all income and expenses of the acquired companies would be transferred to Enel. 1963 was thus the first operational year of the newly formed company.
The first companies to be acquired were: SIP (Piedmont), Edison Volta (Lombardy), SADE (Veneto), SELT-Valdarno (Tuscany), SRE (Lazio), SME (Campania), SGES (Sicily), and Carbosarda (Sardinia).
1963–1970: Modernization and development of the network
Enel's early goals were the modernization and development of the electricity grid with the construction of a high voltage power lines backbone, international connections, connections to the islands, rural electrification, and the creation of a national centre for dispatching. These projects were to be co-financed by the state through the issuing, in 1965, of bonds valued over 200 billion Italian liras. In 1967, Enel, which was originally supervised by the Committee of Ministers, began to be overseen by the inter-ministerial Committee for Economic Planning (CIPE), under the Ministry of Industry. During this period, production from thermal power stations surpassed, for the very first time, that of hydroelectric power.
In 1963, the National Dispatch Centre of Rome was created, to manage the energy network by coordinating the production plants, the transmission network, the distribution, as well as the interconnection of the Italian electricity system with that of foreign countries, by adjusting in real time the production and transmission of energy on the basis of actual demand.
In terms of rural electrification, the settlements that were not connected to the electricity grid declined from 1.27% in 1960 to 0.46% in 1964, with over 320,000 new residents being connected. In the five-year period between 1966 and 1970, further investments for rural electrification were made, where 80% of the costs were covered by the state and 20% by Enel, part of those costs being incurred by reducing some rates as an incentive for agricultural development.
In 1968, the construction of the 380 kV high-voltage connection between Florence and Rome began, with the aim of joining the high voltage electrical system of the north with that of the centre and the south. Around the same time, international high voltage connections with France (380 kV Venaus-Villarodin, 1969) and Switzerland were also put in place. In the same year, undersea electrical cables were put in place to connect the peninsula and the islands of Elba (1966), Ischia (1967), and Sardinia through Corsica (1967).
In 1963, Enel was involved in the Vajont Dam disaster. On 9 October 1963, a huge landslide of 260 million cubic metres fell into the reservoir formed by the dam. The dam and power plant had been built by the Società Adriatica di Elettricità (the Adriatic Electricity Company, or SADE) and then sold to Edison, and it had just been transferred as part of the nationalisation process to the newly established Enel. The landslide created huge waves in the Vajont reservoir, which partially flooded the villages of Erto e Casso and swept over the dam, completely wiping out the towns in the valley below it: Longarone, Pirago, Rivalta, Villanova and Faè. Approximately two thousand people died in the disaster. Enel and Montedison were charged in the ensuing trial as the companies responsible for the disaster, a responsibility considered all more serious because of the predictability of the event. The two companies were forced to pay damages to the communities involved in the catastrophe.
1970–1989: The energy crisis and the search for new sources
The decade of the 1970s was distinguished by a major energy crisis that led the company to implement drastic austerity measures, and the establishment of a national energy plan that defined the objectives of both building new power plants and searching for new energy sources.
In 1975, as a result of the 1973 oil crisis and the austerity measures, and following the establishment of the first National Energy Plan (PEN), the aim of the company became that of reducing Enel's dependence on hydrocarbons, which was to be achieved with the use of other energy sources, including hydro, geothermal, coal, reducing waste, and, in particular, the use of nuclear power.
Several new plants were built in the course of the decade. In the early 1970s, the construction of the nuclear power station Caorso (Emilia-Romagna), the first major nuclear power plant in Italy (to generate 840-860 MW), began. The station became operational in 1978.[self-published source?] Between 1972 and 1978, the hydroelectric plant of Taloro was built in the province of Nuoro (Sardinia). In 1973, the hydroelectric plant of San Fiorano became operational. In 1977, a thermoelectric power plant opened in Torre del Sale, near Piombino (Tuscany). At the end of the 1970s, the construction of the thermal power plant of Porto Tolle (Veneto) began, whose first completed section became active in 1980.
Between 1971 and 1977, the pilot 1000 kV transmission facilities in Suvereto (Tuscany) were tested. In 1974, the construction of the Adriatic high voltage electric backbone was completed.
Between 1973 and 1977, wells for the production of geothermal energy were drilled in Torre Alfina, in the province of Viterbo (Lazio). The dam of Alto Gesso (Piedmont) was completed in 1982 as part of the hydroelectric power station Luigi Einaudi "Entracque".
The 1980s were characterised by the construction of new plants and the testing of alternative forms of energy, the Italian nuclear power phase-out, as well as a gradual reduction of reliance on oil, which decreased from 75.3% in 1973 to 58.5% in 1985. Several large power plants became active during this period. Among these, the fossil fuel power plant of Fiumesanto (Sardinia) in 1983–84; the pumped-storage hydroelectricity power station of Edolo (Lombardy) in 1984–85, one of the biggest of its kind in Europe; and the coal power plant of Torrevaldiagia Nord (Lazio) in 1984.
In 1981, with the help of the European Economic Community, Enel built the first large scale compact linear Fresnel reflector concentrated solar power plant, the 1 MWe Eurelios power station in Adrano (Sicily). The plant was shut down in 1987. In 1984, the photovoltaic power station of Vulcano (Sicily) became active. In the same year, the first wind farm of the country became operational in Alta Nurra (Sardinia).
During 1985, the national center for the dispatch and control of the electricity network was gradually transferred from the center of Rome to Settebagni, and made a part of a bigger European network for the synchronisation of electricity production.
In 1987, in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, the first referendum on nuclear power took place and was won by those opposed to nuclear power. This result marked the end of nuclear power in Italy, the closing and suspension of all construction of nuclear power stations, and the establishment of a new national energy plan. The Caorso Nuclear Power Plant in Emilia-Romagna, which had been inactive since 1986 due to refuelling, was never reactivated and was finally closed in 1990. The Enrico Fermi Nuclear Power Plant in Piedmont was deactivated in 1987 and shut down in 1990. The construction work on the Montalto di Castro Nuclear Power Station, started in 1982, was interrupted in 1988. The station was converted the following year into a multi-fuel plant. The Latina Nuclear Power Plant was shut down in 1988. The Garigliano Nuclear Power Plant had been shut down since 1978.
In 1988, the new National Energy Plan (PEN) established its key objectives: increased energy efficiency, environmental protection, the exploitation of national resources, the diversification of sources of supply from abroad, and the overall competitiveness of the production system.
1990–present: liberalisation and privatisation
Between 1990 and 2000, the Italian electricity market was progressively liberalized. In 1991, Law No. 9/1991 sanctioned a first partial liberalisation of the production of electricity generated from conventional sources and renewable energy sources; companies were allowed to produce electricity for their own use with an obligation to hand over the excess amount to Enel. In July 1992, the Amato I Cabinet turned Enel into a joint-stock company with the Treasury as the sole shareholder.
In 1999, the D'Alema I Cabinet issued Legislative Decree no. 79 of 16 March 1999 (known as the Bersani Decree) to liberalise the electricity sector. This opened up the possibility for other actors to operate in the energy market. Enel—which had so far been the only actor in the production, distribution, and sale of electricity in Italy—had now to change its corporate structure by distinguishing the three phases and constituting itself as three different companies: Enel Produzione, Enel Distribuzione, and Terna, respectively, for energy production, distribution, and transmission. Moreover, Enel could produce only 50% of the national production according to the new law.
In 1999, 31.7% of the company, in its new structure, was privatised. Following privatization, Enel was put on the stock market; its shares were listed on the Italian Stock Exchange with a value of €4.3 per share; the total number was 4,183 million shares for a total value of €18 billion.
In this period Enel was involved in several new projects. In 1993, the company built the Serre photovoltaic plant. At the time, this was largest of its kind in Europe with an installed capacity of 3.3 megawatts. In 1997, Enel, Orange S.A., and Deutsche Telekom funded Wind Telecomunicazioni as a joint venture, a mobile and fixed telecom operator. In 2000, Enel launched a project to connect Italy's and Greece's power grids by laying a 160 km underwater power line, capable of carrying 600 megawatts, to connect Otranto (Apulia) with the Greek city of Aetos. The project, completed in 2002, had a total cost of €339 million.
During the 2000s, the company worked to reduce the environmental impact of the production of energy and on a progressive internationalization of Enel through a number of mergers and acquisitions.
In 2000, Enel signed an agreement with the Italian Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Development in which the company committed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 13.5% before 2002, and by 20% before 2006. That year, Enel acquired CHI Energy, a renewable energy producer operating in the US and Canadian markets, for $170 million.
In the following years, Enel continued investing in renewable energy and clean technologies. In 2004, the company was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a stock market index that evaluates the financial performance of companies based on economic, environmental, and social performance.
In 2008, Enel formed Enel Green Power, a company dedicated to developing and managing the production of power from renewable energy. In 2009, Enel launched the Archilede project, a new urban lighting system chosen by 1600 municipalities. This new intelligent lighting technology resulted in approximately 26 GWh per year of energy saving, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 18,000 tons per year. That same year, the company opened a new photovoltaic power station in the Park of Villa di Pratolino, in Florence. The project - called "Diamante" – was to build a plant capable of storing, as hydrogen, enough of the solar energy accumulated during the day to meet nighttime requirements. In 2010, the Archimede combined cycle power plant became operational at Priolo Gargallo, near Syracuse in Sicily. This was the first thermal solar field to use molten salt–technology integrated with a combined cycle gas facility.
Enel had several acquisitions and divestments in this period.
In 2001, the company won the tender offer for the purchase of Viesgo—a subsidiary of Endesa—a company active on the Spanish market in the production and distribution of electricity, with a net installed capacity of 2400 megawatts. In 2002, Enel divested Eurogen SpA, Elettrogen SpA, and Interpower SpA in compliance with the Bersani Decree provisions on the liberalization of electricity production. In 2001, Enel acquired Infostrada—previously a subsidiary of Vodafone, at a cost of 7.25 billion euros. Infostrada was later merged with Wind, with 17 million customers.[clarification needed] In 2005, Enel assigned 62.75% ownership of Wind to Weather Investments S.a.r.l., a company belonging to the Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris, at the time CEO of Global Telecom Holding (the remaining 37.25% was divested in 2006). In 2008 and 2009, Enel Stoccaggi and Enel Rete Gas were sold to investors, mainly Primo Fondo Italiano per le Infrastrutture.
In 2011, Enel opened the first pilot carbon dioxide–capture facility in Italy, in the area of Brindisi, in the existing power plant ENEL Federico II. That year Enel Distribuzione built its first Smart grid in Isernia, a grid capable of effectively adjusting the two-way flow of electricity generated from renewable sources. The total investment for this project was €10 million.
Also in 2011, Enel became part of the United Nations Global Compact, a United Nations initiative to encourage businesses to adopt sustainable policies worldwide, and signed a cooperation framework agreement with the World Food Programme, to fight against world hunger and climate change. The cost of the project was €8 million, which included the production and distribution of high-efficiency cooking stoves, the installation of photovoltaic systems in the all WFP logistical premises, and giving support to humanitarian interventions. In the same year the company was added to the FTSE4Good Index of the London Stock Exchange which measures businesses' behaviour in terms of environmental sustainability, relationships with stakeholders, human rights, the quality of working conditions, and fighting against corruption.
In 2012, Enel sold the remaining 5.1% of Terna in its possession, thus exiting completely from the high-voltage market. In 2013 Enel signed an agreement, in Sochi, for the sale of 40% of Arctic Russia, a joint venture with Eni, which in turn controlled 49% of SeverEnergia, for $1.8 billion.
In May 2014, Maria Patrizia Grieco was elected president of the board of directors; and Francesco Starace was appointed CEO. The company's main objectives were set to be the reorganisation of activities in Iberia and Latin America and debt reduction.
In 2014, Enel—together with Endesa, Accelerace, and FundingBox—initiated the INCENSe program (Internet Cleantech Enablers Spark), which was co-funded by the European Commission, for the promotion of technological innovation in renewable energy, and was joined by over 250 start-ups from 30 countries in 2015.
Enel took part in Expo 2015 in Milan as an Official Global Partner. With a €29 million investment, as well as building its own pavilion, Enel built a Smart City over the entire Expo area, simulating a city of 100,000 inhabitants with a total energy consumption of 1 GWh per day. The Smart City comprised a smart grid for the distribution of electricity, an operations center for the monitoring and management of the smart grid, an information system that allowed visitors to view in real-time the electricity consumption in each pavilion, charging stations for electric vehicles, and LED lighting of the entire exhibition site.
Osage Wind LLC
On 11 November 2014, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma filed suit against Enel's subsidiary Osage Wind LLC, an 84-turbine industrial wind project in Osage County, Okla. In the suit, the United States alleges that Enel and Osage Wind are illegally converting minerals owned by the Osage Nation, a Native American tribe that has owned all mineral rights in the county since 1871. The suit says that Osage Wind should have obtained a permit from the Bureau of Indian Affairs before mining rock and other material for the pits in which turbine bases are built. The United States asked that all excavating on the 8,500-acre site cease and that dozens of turbines that are already being erected be removed. Osage Wind has insisted that it is not mining and needs no permit. The company says that it has already spent nearly $300 million on the project, which is being built on privately owned fee land, not land held in trust for American Indians.
Osage Wind LLC and a second and adjacent Enel wind project, Mustang Run, are also embroiled in cases pending before the Oklahoma Supreme Court in which the Osage Nation and Osage County, Oklahoma, are challenging the constitutional legitimacy of permits for both projects.
Enel had to exit the El Salvador electricity market after a long dispute with the Government of El Salvador. Article 109 of the Constitution of El Salvador states that underground natural resources are the country's property and the government should not allow a foreign company to be the sole proprietor of geothermic generation. Both parties came to a settlement in 2014, but no details have been released.
Enel had been demanding over EUR 94 million from the Ministry of Economy of Slovakia in compensation for lost earnings it claims to have incurred as price proposals were rejected by the Slovakian Regulatory Office for Network Industries (URSO).
Production and service capacities
Enel produces electricity from a number of energy sources including geothermal, wind power, solar power, hydroelectric power, thermal, and nuclear power. In 2020, Enel generated a total of 207 TWh of electricity, distributed 484.6 TWh, and sold 298.2 TWh.
Enel is also engaged in research and development activities for the production and transmission of electricity. These include:
- the design and implementation of "hybrid plants" that combine the use of different sources and technologies for energy storage, in order to increase the efficiency of plants.
- the development of smart grids that increase efficiency and sustainability in the distribution of electricity, with the support of the European Community.
Enel is headquartered in Rome and has been listed on the Milan stock exchange since 1999. Enel and its subsidiaries produce and distribute electricity and gas in 30 countries around Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Africa.
The company employs around 67,000 people, has 70 million customers worldwide (64 million in the electricity market, and 6 million in the gas market)  and a net installed generating capacity of 84 GW. Enel is the largest energy company in Europe by number of customers and the second by capacity, after EdF.
The Enel Group is organised in 4 business lines:
- Global Generation: electricity generation.
- Global Infrastructure and Networks: transport infrastructure and energy distribution.
- Global Trading: provides Enel Group companies, as well as third parties, both with goods to be used in power plants and with optimisation services for energy production and distribution.
- Enel X: provides value-added services.
For trading on international markets, as well as for the procurement and sale of energy products including gas, Enel owns 100% of Enel Trade, which in turn owns 100% of Enel Trade Romania, Enel Trade Croatia, and Enel Trade Serbia.
- 100% of Enel Energia – which deals with the sale of electricity and natural gas on the free market and to end customers. Enel Energia also owns 100% of Enel.si, a company that offers renewable energy solutions to end customers and franchises "Punto Enel Green Power".
- 100% of e-distribuzione – for the distribution of electricity.
- 100% of Enel Sole – which deals with public and artistic lighting.
In Spain, through its subsidiary Enel Iberia Srl (previously known as Enel Energy Europe), Enel holds 70.1% of Endesa, acquired in 2009 with an initial stake of 92%. The acquisition earned Enel the 2009 Platts Global Energy Award for "Deal of the Year". In 2016, Endesa acquired Enel Green Power España from Enel for €1.207 billion.
Enel has been operating in Russia since 2004. It owns 56.4% of Enel Russia (formerly OGK-5) and 49.5% of the electricity supplier RusEnergoSbyt, through Enel Investment Holding BV. In 2013, Rosneft, through NGK Itera, bought 40% of Enel's stake in Arctic Russia BV, a company which owned 19.6% of SeverEnergia.
In Chile, Enel controls 61.99% of Empresa Electrica Panguipulli SA, 56.80% of Enel Américas SA, 61.4% of Distribución Chile SA, 57.9% of Generación Chile SA, 61.9% of Enel Green Power Chile Ltd, 61.9% of Enel Green Power del Sur SpA, and 58.0% of Gas Atacama Chile SA.
Enel owns 50% of Open Fiber. According to the plan approved on 23 March 2016, operating in the so-called A and B clusters to "market success" as discussed by the Italian Council of Ministers on 3 March 2015, Open Fiber is to make FTTH broadband services available to 9.5 million Italian homes, in 282 communities in large urban areas, by 2022. The areas chosen for the project are a subset of 641 communities the government classifies as A and B Clusters. The full list of the 282 communities has not yet been made public, except for the 13 cities of Bari, Cagliari, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Padova, Palermo, Perugia, Venice, Bologna, Milan, and Turin. Open Fiber has been selected by Infratel to make fibre optic networks available in the so-called "white" areas in Abruzzo, Molise, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Tuscany, Veneto, Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta, Liguria, Friuli Venezia Giulia, the autonomous province of Trento, Campania, Basilicata, Marche, Umbria, Lazio, and Sicily. Elisabetta Ripa took over as CEO in January 2018.
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