Home Technology Enel CEO skeptical of carbon capture and storage technology

Enel CEO skeptical of carbon capture and storage technology

The CEO of multinational Italian vitality agency Enel has expressed doubt on the usefulness of carbon capture and storage, suggesting the technology shouldn’t be a local weather resolution.

“We have tried and tried — and once I say ‘we’, I imply the electrical energy trade,” Francesco Starace instructed CNBC’s Karen Tso on Wednesday.

“You can think about, we tried arduous prior to now 10 years — perhaps extra, 15 years — as a result of if we had a dependable and economically attention-grabbing resolution, why would we go and shut down all these coal vegetation [when] we might decarbonize the system?”

The European Commission, the EU’s govt arm, has described carbon capture and storage as a collection of applied sciences centered on “capturing, transporting, and storing CO2 emitted from energy vegetation and industrial services.”

The thought is to cease CO2 “reaching the ambiance, by storing it in appropriate underground geological formations.”

The Commission has mentioned the utilization of carbon capture and storage is “necessary” in terms of serving to decrease greenhouse gasoline emissions. This view is predicated on the rivalry {that a} substantial proportion of each trade and energy technology will nonetheless be reliant on fossil fuels within the years forward.

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Enel’s Starace, nevertheless, appeared skeptical about carbon capture’s potential.

“The truth is, it does not work, it hasn’t labored for us thus far,” he mentioned. “And there’s a rule of thumb right here: If a technology does not actually choose up in 5 years — and right here we’re speaking about greater than 5, we’re speaking about 15, at the least — you higher drop it.”

There are different local weather options, Starace mentioned. “Basically, cease emitting carbon,” he mentioned.

“I’m not saying it is not price making an attempt once more however we’re not going to do it. Maybe different industries can strive more durable and succeed. For us, it’s not an answer.”

Carbon capture technology is often held up as a source of hope in decreasing world greenhouse gasoline emissions, that includes prominently in nations’ local weather plans in addition to the net-zero methods of some of the world’s largest oil and gasoline corporations.

Proponents of these applied sciences imagine they’ll play an necessary and numerous function in assembly world vitality and local weather objectives.

Climate researchers, campaigners and environmental advocacy teams, nevertheless, have lengthy argued that carbon capture and storage applied sciences lengthen the world’s fossil gas dependency and distract from a much-needed pivot to renewable options.

Plans to extend shareholder dividends

Enel additionally mentioned that, between 2021 and 2024, shareholders had been “anticipated to obtain a set Dividend Per Share … that’s deliberate to extend by 13%, as much as 0.43 euros/share.”

During his interview with CNBC, Starace was requested about Enel’s increased dividend forecast and the broader debate about how one may very well be invested in so-called “sin shares” — on this occasion, huge polluters inside the vitality house — and nonetheless get good returns, significantly on the dividend aspect of issues.

“It’s all about threat rewards,” he mentioned. “And on the finish of the day, I do not see something flawed with an more and more dangerous enterprise [being] … pressured to extend dividends if you wish to entice buyers.”

“What we’re making an attempt to say is there’s a breaking level, there’s a level wherein the chance turns into insufferable it doesn’t matter what dividends you wish to distribute, and that’s approaching,” he mentioned.

“So in our case, what it’s good to do is get out of this threat, get out of the carbon footprint and additionally ensure that if you put the phrase ‘web’ in entrance of zero, this ‘web’ does not change into some variety of a trick round which you do not decarbonize, actually, your operations.”

“We’re saying we will be zero carbon, which implies we’re not going to emit carbon and we are going to, subsequently [not] … must plant timber to offset that carbon.”

Starace acknowledged, nevertheless, that timber can be required over the subsequent centuries to take away carbon left within the ambiance resulting from historic emissions.

—CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this text.

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