For Eni, access to energy is fundamental to the development of the countries in which it operates and guarantees the growth of local energy systems.
Energy is a central element for almost the major challenges and opportunities that the world is facing today. Whether it is work, safety, climate change, food production or increasing income, access to energy is essential (1). Energy poverty (2) has two faces:
The key challenge facing the energy sector today is to find a balance between maximising access to energy and combatting climate change. One of the key elements in facing this challenge is our "cooperation model", which aims to support the development of local communities, contribute to reducing socio-economic inequalities in areas in which we operate and ensuring the involvement of all stakeholders. In this sense, our objective is to expand access to energy in an efficient and sustainable way, also by focusing on the development of local markets. We have always invested in the construction of infrastructure for the generation of energy by promoting the development of local markets, in the knowledge mutual growth that strengthens the company’s credibility and opens up new business prospects, as well as strengthening our relations with the countries.
In particular, we decided to develop energy resources not only for export but also for the benefit of local people. For example, in the Mediterranean area, we currently provide almost all the gas necessary for the operation of electric power plants in Libya that cover domestic needs. In Egypt, where all of the gas produced by the company remains in the country, Eni will help create the conditions for energy independence through the development of the Zohr discovery. In sub-Saharan Africa, among all of the various international companies, Eni is the leading producer of electricity, helping to improve energy access for local populations, with environmental benefits in terms of reducing emissions from gas flaring.
Per capita energy consumption is among the lowest in the world. Africa has one third of per capita consumption compared to China, one fifth of European, and one tenth of American consumption, and this despite the fact that Africa has twice the oil and gas resources of the US. In particular, in Sub-Saharan Africa, around 600 million people live without access to electricity and average per capita electricity consumption is about 200 kWh, compared with an average of 2,100 for developing Asia, 6,000 for Europe and 12,800 KWh for the United States. Moreover, in the last fifteen years, while Africa’s total primary energy supply grew by approximately 3% per year, the share of traditional biomass like wood and agricultural waste has remained at around 50%, which causes severe health risks for the population, especially women and children. In 23 out of the 42 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, more than 75% of the population uses only biomass for cooking and heating. Natural gas has a great unexploited potential, accounting for only 14% of the demand, even though it is still flared in some areas. It is worth reflecting on the fact that the amount of flared gas yearly in Africa is equal to 30% of the continent’s total gas consumption. There is also a huge potential for renewables: hydro produces only around 1% of the energy mix and other renewables, such as wind and solar, account for less than 1%, making it an almost unexploited resource. For the future, the International Energy Agency estimates an increase of over 30% of primary energy demand by 2030, but the current energy model, which leaves little room for the development of natural gas and renewable energy, is not sustainable in such a scenario.
The strategy to reduce social and economic gaps by developing energy sources is an integral part of the business model. In this regard, Eni invests in building infrastructures for the production and transport of gas for both export and local consumption for electricity generation. This aims at developing local markets, aware that growing together reinforces the company’s credibility and opens new business opportunities as well as consolidates the link with Countries. This has allowed Eni to reach new local markets and guarantee Countries energy independence, which is necessary for economic growth. Overall, Eni supplies the domestic markets in 14 Countries thanks to a supply of 56 billion cubic metres of natural gas in 2017 (+17% vs 2016).
For Eni access to energy is a prerequisite and a guarantee for the development of the countries in which it operates.
Eni has invested a total of approximately $2 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa in the construction and restoration of networks and power plants in Nigeria (Kwale Okpai power plant with an installed power capacity of 480 MW) and in Congo (CEC and CED power plants), with a significant reduction of gas flaring in both Countries. This successful model will be soon replicated in other Countries where Eni is present.
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