BRINDISI – Well distinct from the current Municipality crisis – Eni on the environmental impact of emergency torches and cracking maintenance, the news arrives in the morning that Enel has decided to bring forward to January 2021 the stop of the second group of the Brindisi Cerano thermoelectric plant , whose gas conversion project is being examined by the Via Committee of the Ministry of the Environment. On the decision, announced to the government last January, there is already the consensus of the Ministry of Economic Development.
“This is the first of the four coal-fired production units of the plant – explains Enel in a note – which is about to close definitively. In line with its strategy for decarbonising electricity production and with the objectives of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (Pniec), in recent months Enel has started the permitting process for the conversion of the site with a gas-fired plant. very high efficiency necessary to ensure the complete closure of the Brindisi coal plant by 2025 and to simultaneously ensure the safety of the national electricity grid. ”
The march towards green energy
“In addition, Enel is developing projects for the installation of photovoltaic capacity within the site, as part of the more general development initiative for new renewable capacity throughout the Italian territory. The early closure of Group 2 of the Federico II plant in Brindisi is part of Enel’s commitment to the energy transition towards an increasingly sustainable model “, the press release continues. Almost an indirect response that still today, judging the closing of Group 2 of Cerano as “excellent news”, however, objects that gas is also a fossil source.
But Enel has chosen gas for the conversion of the Cerano site because during the transition to an ever greater production from renewable energy, a balance of the national system must be guaranteed which requires the presence of a reserve capacity in case of need. “Globally, in 2019, Enel’s installed capacity from renewable sources exceeded that from thermoelectric sources for the first time and in the first quarter of 2020 the production of zero-emission electricity reached 64% of the Group’s total generation ”, The electricity company remembers.
“The long-term goal of the Enel Group is the complete decarbonization of the mix by 2050, with a series of intermediate targets such as the completion of the phase out of coal in Italy by 2025 and globally by 2030.”
Commenting on Enel’s request to anticipate the closure of Group 2 of the Enel Federico II thermoelectric plant in Brindisi starting from January 1, 2021 and to close its coal plants in Chile (closure of Unit I of the Bocamina plant by 31 December 2020 and Unit II of the same plant by 31 May 2022) with a plan to complete 2 Gw of renewable capacity in the country through Enel Green Power Chile – Alessandro Giannì, director of the Campaigns of Greenpeace Italy, declares:
“Enel’s decision to anticipate the closure of coal plants in Chile and Italy is excellent news, long awaited by those who care about the fate of the planet’s climate and by those who suffer the impacts directly, and daily, fossil fuels, or those who live near these plants. It is now time for coal to retire, but it is important that instead it focuses on renewable energies, and not on other polluting fossil fuels such as gas “.
“The decision to start closing the Brindisi coal plant, one of the most polluting in Europe, from January 1, 2021 is undoubtedly positive, but unfortunately ruined by the company’s will to convert the fossil gas plant” , continues Giannì. “From a climatic point of view, moving from coal to gas does not mean accelerating as necessary towards the real solution, that is, renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage systems. Towns and citizens of Brindisi deserve a different future. After decades of coal-related pollution, the city would need an energy transition that puts workers and the environment at the center. ”
The comment of the Municipality of Brindisi and the Puglia Region
There is also a joint comment on the news by the mayor of Brindisi, Riccardo Rossi, and the president of the Puglia region, Michele Emiliano. “The energy transition from coal to a more sustainable model today finds concrete implementation in Enel’s decision to dismiss Group 2 of the Federico II plant in Cerano by January 1, 2021,” said the statement.
“This is good news – underlines Michele Emiliano – we have worked with great determination to convince Enel to divest the Cerano coal-fired power plant and this commitment has been made for 2025. We must acknowledge Enel who has made this commitment to the divestment and is keeping it. We are winning the environmental battle, which is everyone’s battle, and this is a fundamental prerequisite for the protection of public health. Obviously our attention remains high also on the new industrial model, because workers and their families must be protected. ”
“This confirms the path taken for disposal from coal – is Rossi’s assessment -. Although this is only the first step, we can only welcome it positively. In fact, a group that produced 660 megawatts and capable of burning up to two million tons of coal per year is retired. This process will be constant and must also be supported by the Just Transition Fund “.
Article updated at 15.25 on 28 May 2020 (Municipality and Region Comment)
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