Capitalising on a heritage of expertise in alternative power, Enel Green Power – owned by Italian energy giant Enel – leads a list of the world’s top ten renewable energy investors overseas. This is based on project numbers for 2022, when Enel registered 44 projects across the whole year. This surpassed the company’s closest competition, Spain’s Iberdrola (which had 41 projects), Portugal’s Energias de Portugal (with 35) and the UK’s BP (with 34), according to figures from Energy Monitor’s parent company, GlobalData.

Enel Green Power has been at the forefront of global foreign direct investment (FDI) in renewable energy for many years. Formed as a subsidiary of the Italian energy giant Enel in 2008, it represents some 15% of the Enel Group’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. The company has 1,293 renewable plants spread across four continents and 30 countries, employing 4,300 people. Enel Green Power's managed capacity of 42 gigawatts is developed through hydroelectricity, wind, solar power, geothermal electricity, biomass and incineration sources.

The company arose largely due to Italy’s long history in the renewables field. Geothermal power capture was invented in Tuscany in 1904, and until the 1960s the Italian electricity system was powered by hydro (the country lacks significant fossil fuel resources). Against this background, Enel has been researching and developing renewable technologies for 30 years. It has cut more greenhouse gas emissions than any other company on the planet over the past decade, according to research from Canadian research company Corporate Knights. By slashing 73 million tonnes of emissions since 2012, Enel has reduced its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 57%.

In 2023, Enel Green Power kicked off construction of a photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of about 170 megawatts, which will be its largest solar plant in Italy as well as the country's biggest agrivoltaics plant. The company has broken other records in Chile, and elsewhere.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared on our sister site Investment Monitor.