A sunny future: Sardinia is a green lab in the energy transition

Published on Tuesday, 13 July 2021

“In analysing the NRRP (National Recovery and Resilience Plan), we asked ourselves: Is it possible for such a large and important part of the country to “skip” gas and be ahead of everyone else in having a truly green energy and industrial park? Is it possible for such a precious part of the country to make such a leap forward? We believe that it is..”

– Francesco Starace, Enel CEO

A sunny future

In specific terms, the electrification plan for Sardinia is based on the island’s natural resources, specifically sun, wind and water, all of which are in abundance. Once the Tyrrhenian Link is up and running (and it should be by 2030, if not before), an extra gigawatt of battery power and 4 to 5 gigawatts of renewable energy (with respect to what is currently envisioned) could be installed. This would entail an investment of 15 billion euros between now and 2030 and could create somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 jobs.

We are hiring

The issue of jobs led the journalist from La Nuova Sardegna, Giuseppe Centore, to press Starace on the question of the closure of the coal-fired Portovesme power plant, which he described “as creating problems in an area that has already been devastated.” In his reply, Starace was most categorical: “Absolutely not. I want to be clear here. At the end of this journey, which will last several years, no one will be left without a job. In Sardinia we need to hire people, not send them home. It is a policy at Enel never to abandon our collaborators. We will be hiring people, rather than firing them.”