The scenario in which we are currently operating is extremely intricate; everything seems to point to change. Those working within the energy sector, and especially in mature markets, are having to deal with a series of interrelated complexities. In Italy we are facing critical issues relating to the country’s GDP, diminishing population and reduced need for energy. These three factors contributed to a 9 percent fall in demand for energy over the 2007-15 period.
Local changes should be seen from a global perspective; the trend towards producing energy from renewable sources continues to grow and its effects can be seen in the increased popularity of solar power, including in Italy. There are more than 500,000 photovoltaic systems installed across the country today and we know that 1.5 million more households are assessing this option. We are well aware that the market is made up of well-informed consumers who are both interested in technological progress and open to new services and new consumption habits.
Energy efficiency, home automation, electric vehicles and smart grids are areas in which we want to focus our efforts to enhance our traditional range of services. They will provide the cornerstones for bringing innovation and sustainability to the daily lives of Italian people, thereby helping the country to evolve beyond the boundaries of energy and leading to development.
This development must be sustainable. We must continue along the path that has made us a leading company in the renewables sector and an active part of the global commitment to a carbon-free future. We are driven by the concept of creating shared value; this is crucial, as value can no longer be the preserve of businessmen, companies and shareholders, but must be shared with communities and all the economic and social organisations in the regions in which we work. With this in mind, we are collaborating with the UN on a large project that aims to provide access to electricity to over 3 million people in various countries around the world, as well as supporting access to education and culture.
In Italy, working to create shared value means above all being consistent, realistic and focused on technological innovation, which is essential if we want to achieve our objectives. For these reasons, we are now looking at solutions involving storage, smart energy management and sustainable transport. We must innovate today to be competitive tomorrow.
In July 2018, the Italian energy market will be completely liberalised. This means we must meet a variety of different needs head-on: those of our clients, technological and digital progression and all aspects of the evolving demand for energy. We must use Big Data to profile a nation that wants to grow and provide it with the best possible tools to do so.
The potential for development is huge and the road that lies ahead is long. We know we must invest in innovation, but we must also make the most of the people who provide Enel with their ideas, professionalism and enthusiasm every day. We are a global company and this allows us continually to exchange experiences, best practice and different attitudes. Enel is a melting point of human capital that works together to maintain its leading role in the evolution and great future of energy.
This evolution is already underway in Italy. Open meters, smart grids, e-mobility and smart homes are the elements that together are helping to build a more open, trusting and productive country – where everyone can play their part with actions as simple as switching on a light.
People, innovation, sustainability and concrete solutions underpin our strength today – and tomorrow they will be even more important.