Eni: We see huge potential for the development of solar in emerging markets
By: Kristina Thoring, Senior Political Communications Advisor
ENI, is leading SolarPower Europe's newly established Emerging Markets Task Force, we sat down with Stefano Mantellassi, Vice President Energy Solutions - Head of Initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, ENI and chair of the SolarPower Europe Emerging Markets Task Force to hear why emerging markets are important for the European solar industry.
SolarPower Europe: Eni is the leader of SolarPower Europe's Emerging Markets Task Force - why are emerging markets important for the European solar industry?
We see huge potential for the development of solar in emerging markets. These are markets with a fast-growing population and electricity demand, which are hungry for clean, affordable energy to be provided to their people and to support a sustainable growing industrialization. European companies, including ourselves at Eni, are seeking opportunities to increase their market access globally and to be able to apply innovative business models, where different paths to the sustainable energy transition are possible. We have the technology, the know-how and the experience, some of us having a long-standing presence in regions such as Africa, South America and Asia. The European industry has embraced the global effort to tackle climate change and a big part of this challenge lies outside Europe.
SolarPower Europe: What are the priorities of the Emerging Markets Task Force?
The Task Force will allow members seeking to expand their business beyond Europe to analyse and benchmark the accessibility of selected markets, untangle barriers to investment and engage with local stakeholders. By leveraging the collective expertise of companies active in the TF and the commendable job that the European Commission is doing in promoting sustainable energy as part of its global agenda, the TF will deliver concrete and actionable tools including focused market analysis, funding opportunities benchmarking and organize trade missions to engage with local industry players. We will seek as much as possible to build on existing global initiatives such as the Terrawatt Initiative and the IRENA's Business and Investors Group, where TF members are active.
SolarPower Europe: Eni recently presented its Strategic Plan for the four-year period 2018-2021, which includes the construction of 220 MW of solar power plants at several industrial sites in Italy. What is the vision behind Eni's "Progetto Italia" - Project Italy?
Eni has also planned to develop 5 GW by 2025. While the bulk of our efforts is in emerging markets, with a strong focus on North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Italy remains a key priority for us and we are on track for delivering on Progetto Italia. This is a large brownfield project consisting of the conversion of 25 former industrial sites into renewable energy plants. The 220 MWp of new capacity support our own energy consumption and contribute the exceeding production to the grid. Progetto Italia embodies some key elements of our distinctive renewable business model, such as increased efficiency, organic growth and most importantly an integrated approach leveraging key synergies (operational, logistical, commercial, contractual, fiscal).