CEO of Europe’s largest utility company: Generating electricity from gas is ‘dumb’

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It is “stupid” to use natural gas to heat homes or generate electricity when there are better alternatives, said the CEO of Europe’s largest utility. CNBC Tuesday, noting that the gas should be used for industrial processes where it is still irreplaceable.

Europe uses “too much gas” to generate electricity, Francesco Starace, chief executive of Italian electricity giant Enel, told CNBC on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

The gas is used “in a stupid way, because burning gas to generate electricity is, today, stupid”, he added.

“You can generate electricity better, cheaper, without using gas…Gas is a valuable molecule and you should leave it for…applications where it’s needed,” Starace told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick.

The CEO of Enel, which has pledged to invest tens of billions of dollars in renewables over the next few decades, said gas use should be spared for industry and reduced in power generation electricity and home heating when there are better alternatives.

“Overall, I think there will be a reduction in gas consumption in Europe across the board, mostly coming from these, like I said, ‘dumb’ uses,” Starace told CNBC. .

The European Union seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian gas and proposes accelerated energy efficiency and renewable energy targets as part of its plan do this.

Enel, for its part, said at the end of 2020 that it would invest up to $171 billion (€160 billion) by 2030 to boost renewable energy generation, decarbonization and grid infrastructure in part of a new plan to become a “Super Major”. in renewable energies. At the end of 2021, Enel advanced the decarbonization objective by 10 years, and committed to sell only electricity produced from renewable energies by 2040. Enel plans to phase out coal-fired generation by 2027 and gas-fired power generation by 2040.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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