Constant reduction of environmental impacts associated with the running of our power plants is a strategic target pursued by Enel by applying the best available technologies and international practices, thus by adopting an approach that is not limited merely to compliance with regulations.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Reduction of greenhouse gases is one of the priority targets indicated in the environmental policy, pursued by gradual expansion of renewable energy production and improvement of infrastructure efficiency.
In particular, greenhouse gas emissions deriving from Enel’s industrial activities are mainly due to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) resulting from thermal generation and, more marginally, to leakage of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6,) from the distribution network. CO2 specific emissions in 2018 were 0.369 kg/kWheq2. For further details on greenhouse gas emissions see the chapter “Growth across low-carbon technologies and services”.
2 Value related to consolidated production only. With regard to the value including the managed capacity, CO2 emissions are 0.356 kg/kWheq.
SO2, NOx and dust
Particular care is taken with reference to emissions of the main airborne pollutants associated with thermal generation: sulfur oxides (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and dust. For this purpose, during 2018 work was completed on specific coal-fueled plants worth a total of 82 million euros and an investment plan worth 340 million euros has been defined for the 2019-2021 three-year period. The choice of the most suitable work to improve environmental performances for each plant is the result of an analysis that, starting from the best technologies and international practices, takes into consideration factors such as: the local context and priorities, the plant operating methods, meaning the hours of operation each year, the current plant engineering configuration and the outlook for its productive life.
Emissions are measured in compliance with the regulatory framework of each country and, in the majority of large plants, provides for a continuous measuring system able to check compliance with limitations in real time, the reliability of which is guaranteed by accredited certification bodies and by inspections performed jointly with the bodies responsible for the controls.
Emissions in 2018 fell against 2017 for all the major pollutants both in absolute and in specific terms. These reductions are ascribable both to lower production from fossil fuels and to work already completed to increase efficiency. In particular, specific emissions of SO2 were equal to 0.75 g/kWheq (-11% vs 2017), those of NOx were 0.72 g/kWheq (-9% vs 2017) and those of dust were 0.17 g/kWheq (-37% vs 2017). The drop in dust is linked mainly to work to increase the efficiency of the dust abatement systems carried out at the Reftinskaya Plant in Russia. Considering the managed capacity of about 4.2 GW and the managed production of 9.4 TWh3, the levels of specific emissions proved to be 0.73 g/kWheq for SO2, 0.69 g/kWheq for NOx and 0.16 g/kWheq for dust.
Enel has committed to achieving reduction targets in specific emissions into the atmosphere by 2020 (compared to the data recorded in 2010), assessed on the basis of the results attained, of the Business Plan for the next three years which will see a shift in the mix towards renewable energy and a reduction in emissions from fossil fuel, as well as the plan foreseen for installation or improvement of abatement systems.
The Group, furthermore, in comparison with the data recorded in 2015, is committed to achieving further targets for reduction of specific emissions into the atmosphere by 2030 based on the best projections currently available.