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Renewable energy good for planet, good for business, says Italian PM

Staff Writer |
Renewable energy is good for the planet and good for business too, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said at a conference "Italy and Renewable Energies" at ENEL energy company.

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Gentiloni said that while the transition to renewables was initially sparked by public policy, the sector is now a full-fledged, competitive, market-driven business that "stands on its own two feet".

"A great transformation is underway," Gentiloni said at ENEL, whose Green Power division builds solar power plants and wind farms in Africa and South America and is a leading world player in the renewable energy sector.

Clean power is essential "for the future of our country and the environment (and also for) the competitiveness of our industrial system," the prime minister said.

"We're not talking about a charity, a good cause - we're talking about one of the most extraordinary vectors of innovation and competitiveness for our economic systems," Gentiloni said, adding that "the transition from coal to renewables... is at the same time a choice for tomorrow and for today".

Climate change caused by human reliance on fossil fuels is no longer just a future scenario, Gentiloni said. "In various parts of Africa... the impact of climate change is taking place here and now" and resulting in drought, malnutrition, and mass migration.

"Think of the immense number of families in Africa who have no electricity," Gentiloni said. "This demand will be met with gigantic investments in the coming decades."

If the response is an advanced model of renewables, digitalization and energy efficiency "it will be not just a business for us, but also an extraordinary result for humanity," Gentiloni said.

"On the contrary, responding to this enormous demand...with traditional fossil sources would be absolute madness from the environmental and social point of view."


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