UK markets open in 1 hour 19 minutes
  • NIKKEI 225

    -73.17 (-0.23%)

    +77.53 (+0.44%)

    +0.95 (+1.05%)

    -5.20 (-0.27%)
  • DOW

    -388.00 (-1.14%)
  • Bitcoin GBP

    -69.44 (-0.32%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    -1.83 (-0.32%)
  • NASDAQ Composite

    -207.71 (-1.57%)
  • UK FTSE All Share

    -2.17 (-0.05%)

Enel bumps up spending to drive clean energy ambitions

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Italian multinational energy company Enel is seen in Milan, Italy

By Stephen Jewkes

MILAN (Reuters) - Europe's biggest utility Enel will spend 160 billion euros ($190 billion) over the next 10 years and mobilise more as it steps up plans to clean its business and become a carbon-free company by 2050.

The group said it expected to attract another 30 billion euros from parties outside the group for its plans to take overall spending to 190 billion euros to help boost earnings and cut its carbon emissions by 80% by 2030.

Europe’s big utilities are investing heavily in the clean parts of their businesses as technological progress and more stringent rules to tackle climate change force energy companies, including big oil players, to rethink strategies.

This month Spanish rival Iberdrola said it planned to invest 75 billion euros in renewable energy production, grids and retail operations by 2025.

Enel, which controls Spanish utility Endesa, said it would spend 70 billion euros by 2030 on renewable energy to almost triple its capacity to 120 gigawatts, drawing on a green pipeline of over 140 GW.

"We plan to strengthen our position as a Super Major in the renewable sector," CEO Francesco Starace said in a call with investors. Around 80% of production would be generated from green energy by 2030, up from 54% today, he said.

The utility, which has earmarked around 46% of overall spending for its regulated network business, said it also planned to grow its green hydrogen capacity to over 2 GW by 2030.

It said it would also bring forward the date to phase out coal from its generating fleet to 2027, from a previous 2030.

Ordinary core earnings to 2023 are expected to grow by 5-6% per year while net debt will rise to 57 billion-58 billion euros to help fund growth, Enel said.

Dividends will increase by an average of around 7% per year over the next three years to reach 0.43 euros per share in 2023, from an estimated 0.35 euros this year.

"Overall it seems to be a good plan... [with] significant growth in the long term, coupled with monster investments," Milan-based broker Equita said.

At 0845 GMT Enel shares were up 2.6% while the European utility sector was up 0.5%.

(Editing by Agnieszka Flak, Jason Neely and Susan Fenton)