Enel enables Italian citizens to crowdfund the energy transition


Italian utility Enel, through its renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power, has launched a new tool that enables citizens to fund the deployment of renewable energy as a climate mitigation strategy and to enhance the operations of grid networks.

The tool, Renewable Choice, is an online crowdfunding initiative that citizens can use to fund the rollout of new renewables plants to support local energy demands and the country’s energy transition.

Enel Green Power seeks to leverage the platform to ensure communities benefit from investments they would have made in the form of affordable energy rates and environmental sustainability, according to a statement.

Enel launched the tool using funds from citizens to implement a solar PV project in Poggio Renatico, in the province of Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna. The 17MW plant is expected to avoid the emissions of 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum and produce enough electricity to power more than 8,300 households.

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Salvatore Bernabei, CEO of Enel Green Power, said: “With Scelta Rinnovabile we want to encourage local communities and areas to play a real and active role in the energy transition, fostering people’s awareness of their role as leaders of the change towards a sustainable model.”

The role of consumers in the energy transition continues to evolve with the emergence of prosumerism and distributed energy resources. As a result, consumers are able to generate their own electricity and integrate it into the grid for reliability.

The launch of the tool falls under efforts by Enel to increase energy transition funding avenues with the lack of capital been identified as one of the key barriers to renewable energy deployment.

This means utility companies need to come up with innovative ways to raise funds to support their renewable energy plans. A new report released by DNV states that the energy transition is affordable and achievable, however, financers need to urgently change their mindset and heavily reduce spending on carbon-heavy technologies by shifting focus to renewables. {Financing the energy transition: How to achieve an affordable shift}

The announcement follows Enel launching another tool, Circular City Index, to help Italian municipalities measure their circularity and sustainability levels. Enel said in a statement that the platform enables municipalities to identify barriers hindering the adoption of the circular economy model and how to address them.

Enel Chairman Michele Crisostomo, added: “…urbanisation will grow at global level, leading to increasingly vast, complex and difficult to manage agglomerations. For this reason, redesigning cities to make them more sustainable, liveable and resilient will be crucial for everyone’s quality of life, as well as for both global and local environmental sustainability. Find out more about the Circular City Index.

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