End green subsidies says Enel boss

Fulvio Conti describes some of Italy's tax laws as 'insanity'

Fulvio Conti describes some of Italy's tax laws as 'insanity'

The head of Italian power company Enel has urged EU governments to scrap renewables subsidies, to ease the burden on utilities.

Chief executive Fulvio Conti says that if governments keep levying taxes and drying up cashflows, shareholders will continue to walk away.

Analysts see the utilities sector as incapable of attracting investment after years of recession, with the demand for power declining. “This is true for all of Europe, making the overall energy industry uninvestable,” Conti says.

He claims that subsidies for renewables needlessly raise prices for consumers.

“They should try to reduce or repeal the incentive system given to renewables. We are at the stage of maturity now that we should be looking at resources, as opposed to incentives.”

Conti says the taxes levied on large industry in Italy have made it particularly difficult for utilities to compete, describing some of the country's taxation on labour as “insanity”.

He is more positive about the EU's struggling emissions trading scheme, in which prices for carbon emissions traded on an open market recently reached an all-time low. However, he says a continuing lack of clarity over the scheme is hurting power companies.

Conti supports the EU’s so-called backloading proposals - the temporary withholding of emissions allowances under the scheme - that is due to be voted on by the European Parliament on 16 April.


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