Enel Green Power’s attention to safeguarding water resources means 360° protection of the environment. From projects that support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to the challenge of the Enel Green Power Class 40, the ocean vessel that will be 100% eco-power.
Finding the solutions to save nature, in nature. This is the challenge posed to the international community by World Water Day 2018, celebrated on 22 March.
The challenge is based on a simple observation: nature is a whole of many elements, deeply connected to each other. Protecting them one by one means helping safeguard the ecosystem in its whole.
Nature for Water
Created by the United Nations and now in its 25th edition, the 2018 event is dedicated to the theme Nature for Water, an invitation to take care of the planet’s water resources by protecting the seas, lakes and rivers, as well as by safeguarding all the elements that influence the natural water cycle, from riverbanks to forests, shores to biodiversity, which guarantees balance and life.
For an entity like Enel Green Power, which draws clean energy from water to power a new sustainable development model, this theme is a chance to look at how we deal with this precious resource every day.
Safeguarding water does not just mean using water resources responsibly, but also protecting everything that lives in symbiosis with that environment, like forests, fauna and communities living near rivers and lakes.
The most recent example to bring all of these aspects together, in the name of our Creating shared value model, is the large hydro project of Apiacás in Brazil: a water system built together with local communities, in full respect of the Mato Grosso forest and the animal species that live there.
The same attention shown at the sustainable worksite of Apiacás was also paid to smaller projects, no less significant, like plans to make mini-hydro plants more efficient.
In Italy, for example, we promoted solutions that guarantee ecological flow, essential for fish and river biodiversity, and at the same time minimised the impact on local populations, even when it was just a matter of sound pollution, like in the case of the San Giovanni Bianco plant in the province of Bergamo.
At the heart of sustainable development
Water is also at the heart of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Number 14 concerns the aquatic biodiversity, number 6 is the commitment to ensuring access to clean water and sanitation services for all the world’s population.
Committed to achieving the SDGs, we have created and are carrying out various projects to guarantee the safeguarding of water as well as access to drinkable water for those that do not have it.
The many examples of projects and initiatives taken from recent experience include the adoption of warka water systems to give stable access to clean water to members of the rural community in Hotazel, near our Adams photovoltaic plant South Africa, the introduction of solutions for the cleaning of volcanic sediments and rubbish from the waters of the Río Samalá at the El Canada hydropower plant in Guatemala, as well as cooperation with the communities of San Juan de Marcona, on the Peruvian coasts of the Pacific, for the promotion of sustainable fishing.
It’s a constant effort that brings together care for the environment and water with the creation of shared value for the communities and territories where we work.
A sea of innovation
Faithful to our vision, which unites sustainability and innovation, we’ve pursued a path of development for new technologies for our hydropower activities.
In the year 2017 and this year, we have also launched projects to bring renewables and our technological knowledge to the ocean: for example, our research to generate energy with the sea underway at the Marine Energy Research and Innovation Center (MERIC), as well as the challenge of the Enel Green Power Class 40.
The Andrea Fantini team's boat, which will become 100% eco-power thanks to smart solutions, solar technologies and storage systems to use only renewable energy, is further proof of our way of looking at water as a precious resource and experiencing the sea in a completely innovative and sustainable way.