Cutting energy bill prices to pre-war levels will take years, power boss warns


Cutting energy bills back to pre-Ukraine levels could take years, the boss of one of the world’s leading energy firms has said.

CEO and general manager of leading energy company Enel Group, Francesco Starace, said there needs to be a drive for new sources of renewable energy and heat pumps to bring prices down.

Enel Group produces and distributes electricity and gas to 70 million homes and businesses in over 30 countries and has tried to protect their European customers from skyrocketing energy prices.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Starace said the firm did their best to keep with the prices on their fixed contracts and increasing their prices would only break customer trust.

Enel Group is planning to stop supplying energy in many countries, push for renewable energy and become carbon neutral by 2040.

The Italian energy giants are investing heavily in solar panels, expanding from their current existing factory in Sicily and building another factory in the US.

The soaring energy prices have been one of the main reasons the UK is facing record-high inflation rates and a cost of living crisis.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “showed very clearly how dependence on one single source of energy is dangerous for Europe”, Mr Starace said.

The future will be “extremely decarbonised” and depend on nuclear and renewable energy, however, that too has risks.

The International Energy Agency warned that China’s dominance of the solar market creates “potential challenges that governments need to address”.

Mr Starace said the West has been over-reliant on China for renewables and other goods.

When asked about the geopolitical tensions interfering with energy supplies, Mr Starace said: “Some rebalancing needs to be happening because it is healthy.”

This has helped drive Enel’s investment in solar panels, although the expansion of the Sicilian factory will still meet only 10% of Europe’s needs, he said.

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