Technical investments (millions of Euro) 2021 2020

Generation and district heating



Networks (electricity, gas, water cycle)






Waste management services









The economic-financial performance for 2021 confirms – through a business portfolio with a prevalence of regulated activities and a significant increase in investments – a strong focus on developing infrastructures serving the development of the economic systems of the areas served. The multi-utility and mainly regulated business profile has ensured the Group’s high resilience to the Covid-19 emergency and the volatility of the energy scenario that characterised the second half of the year (for more details see the Consolidated Financial Statements). Furthermore, as defined also in the Business Plan to 2030 perspective, particular attention is confirmed to environmental sustainability, to the improvement of the quality of the service, digital transformation, and innovation in synergy with the companies and institutions of the reference areas. By hiring 886 new employees (612 in 2020), the Group continued an important generational turnover and development process, focused on acquiring the skills needed for digital transformation and growth also in new business lines.

The strategic guidelines, focused on sustainability profiles, guide the planning of the multi-year investments to be made. These same profiles are part of the principles of the Code of Ethics that Group companies are required to comply with when making investments: creating value and increasing the Group’s assets, management and technological values, the return for shareholders, and the economic and social well-being for employees and the community. In the planning processes, the Group pays particular attention to the variables, emerging from economic and industrial scenarios of the sector, able to guarantee the medium- and long-term availability of energy. Scenarios are analysed by continuously monitoring industrial, economic, financial and sustainable development dynamics.

In order to plan the development of production capacity in the energy field, the Group considers the medium- term scenarios referred to the electricity and gas markets, the evolution of the Capacity Market, the price of CO2 and Energy Efficiency Certificates. Development investments in district heating networks and regulatory scenarios favouring renewable energies’ growth are also taken into account. Maintenance programmes aim to maintain efficiency and prevent breakdowns and are planned to minimise the impact of unavailability on the Group’s results.

The energy production facilities of Iren Group are efficient and appropriate in terms of size, thanks to the significant investments in new production capacity and in increasing the efficiency of the existent one. The production capacity planned to 2030, thanks to the investments included in the Business Plan, will be guaranteed for about 67% by plants producing energy from renewable sources (hydroelectric, photovoltaic, wind).

In order to ensure that adequate production and reliability standards are maintained, the Group adopts advanced management and maintenance policies (predictive and preventive) and focuses on innovation, both by increasing the efficiency and flexibility of its plants and by developing projects targeted at the energy efficiency of the system (flexibility of combined-cycle plants, management of waste-to-energy plants to seize opportunities of district heating development, installation of heat storage systems, design of mini-hydro plants and realisation of photovoltaic plants). In this context, an electrical storage system has been installed at the Turin North power station and electrical storage systems are being built at the Moncalieri and Turbigo power stations, which will make it possible to increase reserve power and producible energy.

Medium- and long-term gas availability is planned and ensured through the combined management of several sources: availability of foreign transportation capacity that the Group can use on an event-driven basis, annual availability of storage capacity, and wholesale supply contracts. The combined use of these sources allows for natural gas demand to be met even during particularly severe periods.

Planning is fundamental for guaranteeing the continuity, reliability and security of the integrated water service. This objective is overseen by the resource need analysis for the various areas – also in relation to their possible evolution and seasonality – and the attainment of diversion concessions that are proportional to the identified needs. This is complemented by the planning and management of ordinary and unscheduled maintenance, the renovation of plants and networks to contain water and sewer network leaks, the adoption of remote-control systems and the automation of plants, an emergency service, analytical checks and treatments to guarantee compliance with the qualitative requirements of the water supplied and the wastewater discharged from treatment plants.

As far as waste management is concerned, at plant level, the production capacities of the Group’s plants are assessed and planned in relation to the needs and production of each region. Investment planning is aimed at optimising waste management and closing the cycle, aiming at the maximum valorisation of waste in terms of material and energy.

In order to guarantee the reliability of its electricity distribution networks, the Group has adopted a planning tool (medium voltage distribution network master plan) that defines the renovation, upgrading and extension rules and methods, for the main high-to-medium voltage transformer plants and networks. The renovation and upgrading plan for the main plants, in addition to the gradual substitution of parts of obsolete plants, includes quality and technical improvements to the grid layout and its adaptation to future load increases. The plan is reviewed and updated in the event that new significant supply requests or reliability and stability issues emerge for the medium voltage network or for the main plants. The management methods are assessed on the basis of the time schedules for the design and implementation of works and in correspondence with technical standards put in place for the construction of new main substations, by verifying and reviewing the projects established in the time schedules. The effectiveness and quality of the interventions carried out are assessed in relation to the performance of the service quality indicators established by the Authority for Electricity, Gas and the Water System (ARERA).

In gas distribution, the plan aims to contain leaks, which is the main objective for the safety, quality, efficiency and continuity of service and protection of the environment. Regular ordinary and unscheduled maintenance and the renovation of plants and networks, scheduled searching for leaks, the addition of gas odorants upon receipt by the national transport network, the maintenance of efficient and effective cathodic protection systems and the use of distributed monitoring systems thanks to the remote control, as well as constant supervision of plants and networks by highly qualified and constantly updated staff, all contribute to achieving this objective.

During the planning phase, the Group also analyses the impact of climate change scenarios: changes in temperature distributions (chronic physical risks) – which impact the dynamics of gas and heat consumption of district heating, water and electricity – and extremes of weather phenomena (acute physical risks) such as droughts, heat waves, water bombs, floods, cyclones, landslides. In particular, the latter have repercussions on the hydrology of hydroelectric and aqueduct plants, with the related economic implications, and represent aspects of attention due to the consequences that they may have on the Group’s assets (for example, breakdowns of the district heating network), on margins (due to damage caused to production plants), on the availability planning and scheduled maintenance of thermoelectric production plants (for further details on climate risk management, see page 80).

The financial or strategic impacts are primarily analysed in the Group’s risk map, which is periodically updated and identifies and quantifies all significant impacts on the business (see page 69).