Burning gas to produce electricity is 'stupid,' the CEO of power giant Enel says

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Enel CEO Francesco Starace photographed successful 2019. In an interrogation with CNBC connected May 24, 2022, Starace said "you tin nutrient energy better, cheaper, without utilizing gas."

Giulio Napolitano | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The CEO of Italian powerfulness steadfast Enel has formed uncertainty connected the continued payment of utilizing state to nutrient electricity, telling CNBC it is "stupid" and that cheaper and amended alternatives are present available.

Speaking to CNBC's Steve Sedgwick astatine the World Economic Forum, Francesco Starace discussed wherever Europe had sourced its state from implicit the years, name-checking some Libya and Russia.

Russia was the biggest supplier of petroleum oils and earthy state to the EU past year, according to Eurostat. The bloc is present attempting to wean itself disconnected Russian hydrocarbons pursuing the country's penetration of Ukraine.  

I deliberation this is simply a large aftermath up call," Starace said, adding that "too overmuch gas" was being utilized "in a anserine way, due to the fact that burning state to nutrient energy is, today, stupid."

Instead, Starace said determination were much charismatic alternatives.

"You tin nutrient energy better, cheaper, without utilizing state ... Gas is simply a precious molecule and you should permission it for … applications wherever that is needed," helium added.

These concern uses see chemic applications, the insubstantial manufacture and usage successful the accumulation of ceramics and glass, helium said.

"Spare state for them," Starace said. "Stop utilizing state for heating, halt utilizing state for generating energy erstwhile determination are alternatives that are better."

Alternative methods of energy procreation see upwind and star power, among others.

According to a caller study from Ember, a deliberation vessel focused connected moving the satellite distant from ember to what it calls "clean electricity," fossil fuels were liable for 37% of EU energy procreation successful 2021.

Breaking down the supra figure, Ember's study — published successful February — said fossil state powerfulness produced 18% of the EU's electricity, a three-year low. Renewables were liable for 37%, portion atomic produced 26% of the bloc's energy past year, Ember said.

Across the Atlantic, preliminary figures from the U.S. Energy Administration amusement that earthy gas was utilized in 38.3% of inferior standard energy procreation successful the United States successful 2021.

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In Starace's opinion, alteration is coming to Europe, wherever the EU has said it wants to beryllium c neutral by 2050. "Overall I deliberation determination volition beryllium a simplification of state depletion successful Europe crossed the committee coming mostly from those, similar I said, 'stupid' uses," helium said.  

"So burning it to make energy is not astute anymore, determination is simply a amended way," helium said. "Burning it to vigor our homes is not intelligent, determination is simply a amended way."

The Enel Group — whose main shareholder is the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance — has said it volition wantonness state procreation by 2040. It besides plans to permission the retail state marketplace successful 2040.