SPIEF 2019: focus on sustainability

Published on Friday, 7 June 2019

In early June, St. Petersburg hosts one of the key events of Russia's business life: St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where representatives of the international business community come.  

The SPIEF has been held since 1997; since 2006 it is held under the patronage and with participation of the President of the Russian Federation. 
This year, forum events are united by the motto "Forming the Agenda for Sustainable Development." 
According to preliminary data, the forum will be attended by 17,000 people and 1,800 companies from 75 countries. 
CEO of Enel Group Francesco Starace and the Head of Europe and Euro-Mediterranean Affairs, Enel Simone Mori arrived in St. Petersburg to participate in this event. Together with Head of Enel Russia Carlo Palasciano Villamagna, they presented the company's experience and perspective on energy transformation, economy digitalization, and shared their vision for sustainable development. 
Francesco Starace with global leaders and CEOs of international companies took part in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Within the SPIEF-2019 session "Strategic Vector of Energy Companies in platform economy" held with the support of PJSC Rosseti, Francesco Starace told about the opportunities that can be available through digitalization.

Within the Forum, Enel Russia signed three Memorandums of Understanding. One of them is aimed at developing renewable energy sources- signed with AB InBev Efes - a subsidiary of AB InBev and one of the leading players in the Russian brewing market.  AB InBev Efes has set a goal to cover its electricity needs entirely from renewable sources and reducing CO2 emissions by 25% up to 2025. In fact, Enel Green Power (global renewable energy division) has already been supplying green energy to AB InBev Group in the USA and Chile. In Russia, Enel Group also intends to develop renewable energy actively. Recently on May 23, construction of the first 90 MW Azov wind farm was launched in the Rostov region, the very first wind farm for Enel Russia and for the Don region. Another wind farm- the Kola wind farm- will be built in the Murmansk region with total installed capacity 201 MW.

“One of our global goals for sustainable development is to tackle climate change. We can achieve meaningful results only by converting our power plants to renewable energy”

– Dmitry Shpakov, President of AB InBev Efes

Another agreement was signed in the sphere of innovation with JSC Russian Venture Company (RVC), a state fund and development institute of the Russian Federation. Within the agreement, GenerationS corporate accelerator, which is a part of the RVC, will work together with Enel Group in order to find innovative start-ups in the fields of energy, clean technology and artificial intelligence. 

“The start of cooperation between Enel Group and GenerationS is one of the steps to scale up Russian innovative projects to foreign markets. The participants of the selection will be able to present their developments directly to the top management of the partner and will have the opportunity to adapt for further integration into the production processes of one of the leaders in energy sector. ”

– Alexander Povalko, CEO of RVC

The third agreement was signed with VEB Innovation, a platform for providing financial services of VEB.RF, Russia's largest financial development institute, which is focused on investing in high-tech projects. This agreement is aimed at launching joint projects and creating favorable conditions for cooperation with Russian institutions and innovative enterprises, including start-ups. 

“We signed the agreements on areas in which our company is particularly active, namely renewables, a nascent sector for Russia, where Enel and other players are currently developing and building major projects, and innovation, which is now at the core of the strategy of every modern company. When it comes to innovation, we are cooperating with startups in the most vibrant ecosystems in the world, including Russia’s ”

– Carlo Palasciano Villamagna, Head of Enel in Russia

During the St. Petersburg Forum, a tripartite agreement was signed between RUSENERGOSBYT LLC (a joint venture of Enel and ESN Group), ROSNANO JSC and Russian Railways PJSC (PJSC RZD). It was signed by Francesco Starace, who was acting on behalf of a subsidiary of RUSENERGOSBYT LLC.  
The agreement implies cooperation regarding development of energy storage systems. 
Within the agreement, the parties will determine the technical requirements to the energy storage system for testing it on the railway network up to the end of 2019. In case of positive results, they will start design works and production of a storage pilot sample to be tested in 2020. 

“Enel is a global leader in the area of intelligent use of energy storage within power grids, whose main objective is to increase their flexibility and manage peak load. This is our first time using this technology in the railway network system, and we are extremely interested in further development of its application”

– Francesco Starace, Enel Group CEO and General Manager

At the same time, Simone Mori, Head of Europe and Euro-Mediterranean Affairs of Enel, took part in a session regarding climate change. Enel is a company No.1 in the world with its renewable generation portfolio. The total installed capacity of its renewable energy generating facilities is about 43 GW. In our opinion, it is possible to produce more energy resources with less cost and impact on the environment, with great effect for producers and consumers. 

Enel also disclosed the upcoming details regarding the sale of the Reftinskaya GRES, Russia's largest coal-fired power plant, to the Siberian Generating Company. This decision evidences the energy transformation and change of the asset structure in Russia in favor of decarbonization and renewable generation within the course of sustainable development. 

*This section uses photographic materials from the Roscongress Foundation archives