Progress in decarbonisation
During 2021, the company continued on its clear pathway to decarbonise the generation mix. First, we received certification for closure of Litoral thermal power plant (Almería), resulting in the decommissioning of 1,100 MW of coal power. Now, all that is left to close is the As Pontes plant (1,400 MW) for us to complete the discontinuation of the coal business in the Iberian Peninsula. This would leave just 240 MW of coal capacity, in the Balearic Islands.
Just 1% of Endesa's revenue in 2021 came from the coal-fired generation business and the share of electricity from this fossil fuel on Endesa's total output was also just 1%. The company has presented Fair Transition plans for all sites where it had been operating coal-fired power plants. Indeed, in February this year, Endesa's plan to convert the Pego coal plant (Portugal), which halted production in November, into a renewables and green hydrogen complex received the highest preliminary score of all plans presented to the Portuguese government.
Second, the volume of installed capacity in renewable sources (hydro, solar and wind) grew by 626 MW, to 8,300 MW at year-end. Thanks to this increase in clean power, alongside the decline in installed coal-fired capacity, Endesa’s electricity production in the Iberian Peninsula was 82% free of CO2 emissions. Emission-free installed power represented 69% of the total in 2021, five percentage points higher than at the end of 2020.
For the development of its 2022-2024 investment plan, and to deliver its forecasts for 2030, Endesa has a project pipeline at various stages of government permit maturity, amounting to 77,000 MW, a much higher figure than at the end of 2020 (i.e. 42,000 MW).
Of the total in the pipeline, 15,000 MW relate to storage and battery projects, while another 11,000 MW are in an advanced stage of government permit maturity. In battery projects, Endesa already has 2,000 MW of projects under execution that will come on stream by the end of 2024.
Gross investment executed in 2021 exceeded 2,200 million euros (2,172 million euros), 5% above the original estimate (of 2,100 million) and 33% higher than in 2020. Of total investment undertaken, 75% is EU taxonomy-aligned.
Improvement in commercial activity
After 2020, which featured particularly stiff competition in the Spanish market, Endesa reacted by focusing on creating value-added offers for customers. This helped it reverse customer churn in the free market, ending the year with a 3% larger deregulated customer base, with 5.9 million in Spain and Portugal. Meanwhile, the sharp spike in the regulated tariff (PCPV) in Spain led to an 8% drop in the number of these customers, to 4.4 million. In all, Endesa ended 2021 with 10.3 million electricity customers.
Other commercial activity KPIs also fared well, e.g. a 16% increase in number of digital contracts, to 6.6 million, or the 32% increase in the number of customers receiving their bill online, to 5.8 million.
In line with the company's bid to drive electrification, the (public and private) charging station network grew by 34% in the year, to 9,500, while the number of charging stations for buses increased three-fold, with 35 now in operation.
Gross electricity sales amounted to 87.8 terawatt-hours in 2021, down 1% from the year before due to lower sales to both regulated and non-regulated retail customers. Sales to business and industrial customers in the free market increased to 57.2 terawatt-hours.