The energy company Endesa announced last Thursday an investment of 31 billion euros in renewable energies until 2030. This amount represents an increase of 22% over last year's estimate, and will be allocated mainly to grids and clean energy in Spain and Portugal. However, this budget does not include any of the projects related to the 750 billion euro fund with which the European Union wants to promote economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.
The long-term objective of 40% of this investment will be to triple the company's renewable energy production capacity, which is expected to rise from 7.8 gigawatts to 24 gigawatts by 2030. This increase will be carried out from a circular economy perspective, and will be addressed alongside the phase-out of coal by 2027. A further 40% will be allocated to strengthening electricity grids to address intermittency in the transfer of green energy.
This strategy of the Spanish energy company is in line with the direction taken by Enel, Endesa's Italian parent company, which owns around 70% of the company. Enel's updated strategic plan aims to decarbonise by 2027 and to phase out gas completely by 2040. However, in order to meet these objectives, Endesa will inevitably have to stop supplying the fuel to its 1.7 million customers.
Italy's Enel is Europe's largest utility and, with this adaptation of its energy strategy, announced on Wednesday a €70 billion investment to triple its green energy production capacity. In addition, the company intends to anticipate 10 years ahead of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), which sets the objective of reaching zero emissions by 2050.
Thus, in view of the pressure to counteract global warming, the budget made public by Enel is positioned as one of the largest green budgets in Europe.
According to the roadmap published by Endesa at Capital Markets Day, as part of these reforms, the company expects to replace its thermal fleet with new renewable capacity and take advantage of the hybridisation of renewable energies with storage solutions by 2040. In this way, the increase in renewable energies will enable 92% of the company's production on the Spanish peninsula to be CO2 emission-free by 2024, 6% more than at the end of 2021.
"It's crazy to depend on gas. The sooner we get out, the better. In two decades there will be very few Europeans who will still be using gas, as they will have switched to electricity. There is no hurry, we will continue to give them gas until they also understand that it is better to switch to electricity, but it will be a gradual change", said Endesa's executive chairman, José Bogas, on the rise in gas prices and its influence on electricity prices.
However, Endesa - positioned as the second largest Spanish distributor (with 19% of the market share), only behind Naturgy - will be forced in the coming years to stop operating the 3.8 gigawatts it produces in its combined cycle plants. The energy company will thus dispose of the combined cycle plants of San Roque (Cádiz), Colón (Huelva), As Pontes (A Coruña) and the two plants in Besòs (Barcelona).