MILAN, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Enel plans to build a
solar panel factory in the United States as part of its plans to
bulk up its renewable energy business in North America, its
green power boss said.
Europe's biggest utility is looking to scale up its 3SUN
factory in southern Italy to 3 gigawatts in 2024 and develop a
new generation of panels to compete with Asia, Enel Green Power
CEO Salvatore Bernabei said on Tuesday.
He said Europe might need 30 GW per year of capacity in this
regard but added other countries like the United States and
India had more ambitious targets.
"Our idea is to think of a possible copy and paste of this
factory to other markets, like the United States," he said.
Enel, the world's biggest private renewable energy player,
has included the United States in its list of Tier 1 countries
where it plans to build some 90% of its additional green
Bernabei, who is also head of thermal power generation, said
the group planned to roll out around 6.5 GW of new green power
in North America over the next three years and build out more
than 1 GW of battery capacity.
Enel, which plans investments of 170 billion euros ($191.6
billion) to 2030, is looking to ramp up its renewable energy
capacity round the world to 154 GW from around 54 GW at present.
It aims to have a wholly green power generation portfolio by
2040 when it plans to be carbon free.
Bernabei said Asia was an area of interest for the utility
which was targeting new markets such as Vietnam and South Korea.
"We have big ambitions in India," he said, but ruled out any
interest in the giant Chinese market.
Asked about Russia, Bernabei said the group had a presence.
"In the long term Russia will need renewables."
Enel, which controls Spanish utility Endesa, is due
to exit coal by 2027 and gas generation by 2040, replacing them
with new green capacity and hybrid renewable-storage solutions.
Bernabei confirmed the deadline for exiting coal despite
concern the current gas crisis and surging energy prices might
force some countries to delay coal plant closures.
"What is happening is just a temporary issue," he said.
Bernabei said Enel had no interest in investing in nuclear
($1 = 0.8872 euros)
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Agnieszka Flak, Raissa
Kasolowsky and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)