Prysmian – Clean Energy: the core of the Energy Transition

What is clean energy and why is it crucial to achieve the energy transition


In the last few years we have been hearing more and more about clean energy. But what does the term clean mean, exactly? Which are the main clean energy sources, and why are they so crucial in the process of energy transition?

What you will find in this article

  • The definition of clean energy
  • The difference between clean energy and renewable energy
  • The different types of clean energy
  • The benefits related to clean energy
  • The role clean energy plays in the energy transition process
  • Prysmian Group’s commitment to promote clean energy

What is clean energy?

Clean energy, also known as green energy, is that kind of energy that can be produced without generating any form of pollution; that mainly means that there is no release of CO2 in the process.

In the last few years this matter has become more and more relevant in our society, since attention and care for the environment have grown; the world is slowly but steadily moving towards a future of decarbonization, also thanks to a new level of awareness growing around the topic. So, relying on clean energy or renewable energy – often confused with each other – instead of fossil fuels is an essential step to make if we really want to achieve the transition towards a more sustainable lifestyle.


What is the difference between clean energy and renewable energy?

As mentioned above, clean energy and renewable energy are not the same thing. While some of the clean energy sources are renewable, renewable sources are not always clean.

To give a definition, with renewable sources we mean all those sources of energy that can regenerate themselves and are, therefore, endless; most of them are sustainable and green, but some of them are not – or not entirely. This is the case, for example, of geothermal energy and biomass energy, two renewable sources that are however not clean: the former could in fact release CO2 during the extraction, the latter during the combustion process.


5 different types of clean energy

There are five different kinds of energy that can be defined as clean; while some of them are already widely used nowadays, others are less common.

  • Hydroelectric energy: it exploits water’s movement to create energy.
  • Eolic energy: it uses the power of the wind to create energy, in a similar but more technological way than the windmills.
  • Photovoltaic solar power: it employs solar radiation to generate energy through photovoltaic panels.
  • Thermal solar power: it uses solar radiation to warm sanitary water up.
  • Tidal energy: it exploits the energy generated by tides.


What are the benefits of clean energy

The two main advantages of using clean energy are related to environmental and economic reasons. Today, 75% of CO2 emissions come from energy production1: switching to clean energy would allow us to reduce CO2 emission of 1.380 kg in a year. This would help fight climate change and reach carbon neutrality.

But also, using clean energy sources would be cheaper in the long run since most of them are inexhaustible; it would take an initial economic effort to develop the technologies needed, but it would turn out to be less expensive than fossil fuels.


How is the energetic transition going?

Energy transition is one of the main EU’s goals: achieving climate neutrality before 2050 is a milestone set by the Paris Agreement. The first steps were taken in 2015, when the EU defined strategy and rules, and European countries started improving energetic efficiency, cutting consumption by 34% and increasing the use of renewable energies by 32%. With the Green Deal, EU countries set a new goal: decreasing emissions by 50% before 20302.

Switching from fossil fuels to clean energy and renewable energy is hence an integral part of the energetic transition and is also essential for reaching the goals set by the EU. That’s why different countries are experimenting in this direction and working on new energetic solutions with a low impact on the environment.


Prysmian Group’s commitment to promote clean energy

The transition from fossil fuels to renewable and clean energy sources is one of the greatest and most urgent problems facing humanity. In this context, access to cleaner and greener energy requires the installation of larger and smarter networks and infrastructure. This is why Prysmian Group works tirelessly to deliver sustainability via innovative solutions, contributing every day to the development of smarter and more sustainable electricity grids and telecommunication networks, in order to transport clean energy and information faster and further.

In line with the Social Development Goals, the Group contributes to facilitate access to clean energy, via continuous investment in research for the development of advanced solutions for the production and transportation of energy from renewable sources.



EMR Analysis


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More information on The European Union: + The European Union’s institutional set-up is unique and its decision-making system is constantly evolving. The 7 European institutions, 7 EU bodies and over 30 decentralised agencies are spread across the EU. They work together to address the common interests of the EU and European people.

In terms of administration, there are a further 20 EU agencies and organisations which carry out specific legal functions and 4 interinstitutional services which support the institutions.

All of these establishments have specific roles – from developing EU laws and policy-making to implementing policies and working on specialist areas, such as health, medicine, transport and the environment.

There are 4 main decision-making institutions which lead the EU’s administration. These institutions collectively provide the EU with policy direction and play different roles in the law-making process:

  • the European Parliament (Brussels/Strasbourg/Luxembourg)
  • the European Council (Brussels)
  • the Council of the European Union (Brussels/Luxembourg)
  • the European Commission (Brussels/Luxembourg/Representations across the EU)

Their work is complemented by other institutions and bodies, which include:

  • the Court of Justice of the European Union (Luxembourg)
  • the European Central Bank (Frankfurt)
  • the European Court of Auditors (Luxembourg)

The EU institutions and bodies cooperate extensively with the network of EU agencies and organisations across the European Union. The primary function of these bodies and agencies is to translate policies into realities on the ground.

Around 60,000 EU civil servants and other staff serve the 450 million Europeans (and countless others around the world).

Currently, 27 countries are part of the EU:

More information on The European Commission: + The Commission helps to shape the EU’s overall strategy, proposes new EU laws and policies, monitors their implementation and manages the EU budget. It also plays a significant role in supporting international development and delivering aid.

The Commission is steered by a group of 27 Commissioners, known as ‘the college’. Together they take decisions on the Commission’s political and strategic direction.

A new college of Commissioners is appointed every 5 years.

The Commission is organised into policy departments, known as Directorates-General (DGs), which are responsible for different policy areas. DGs develop, implement and manage EU policy, law, and funding programmes. In addition, service departments deal with particular administrative issues. Executive agencies manage programmes set up by the Commission.

Principal roles in law: The Commission proposes and implements laws which are in keeping with the objectives of the EU treaties. It encourages input from business and citizens in the law-making process and ensures laws are correctly implemented, evaluated and updated when needed.

More information on Ursula von der Leyen (President, The European Commission): +


More information on The EU Green Deal: +

  • The European Green Deal will transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, ensuring:
    • no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050
    • economic growth decoupled from resource use
    • no person and no place left behind
  • The European Green Deal provides an action plan to:
    • boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy
    • restore biodiversity and cut pollution
  • The plan outlines investments needed and financing tools available. It explains how to ensure a just and inclusive transition.
  • The EU aims to be climate neutral in 2050. We proposed a EuropeanClimate Law to turn this political commitment into a legal obligation.


More information on the United Nations: + Peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945. Currently made up of 193 Member States, the UN and its work are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.

The UN has evolved over the years to keep pace with a rapidly changing world.

But one thing has stayed the same: it remains the one place on Earth where all the world’s nations can gather together, discuss common problems, and find shared solutions that benefit all of humanity.

The main parts of the UN structure are the General Assembly, the
Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. All were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.

More information on António Guterres (Secretary-General, United Nations):

More information on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): 

  • United Nations Global Compact (UNGC): + The world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative: a call to companies to align strategies in operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.
  • At the UN Global Compact, we aim to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create the world we want. That’s our vision.
    • To make this happen, the UN Global Compact supports companies to:
  • United Nations Global Compact 10 Principles:
    • Human Rights
      • Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
      • Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
    • Labour
      • Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
      • Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
      • Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
      • Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
    • Environment
      • Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
      • Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
      • Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
    • Anti-Corruption
      • Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
  • The 17 SDGS (Sustainable Development Goals) by 2030:

More information on Sanda Ojiambo (UN Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the UN Global Compact, United Nations): + +




EMR Additional Notes:

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2):
    • Primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), solid waste, trees and other biological materials, and also as a result of certain chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement). Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere (or “sequestered”) when it is absorbed by plants as part of the biological carbon cycle.
  • Decarbonization:
    • Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through the use of low carbon power sources, achieving a lower output of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.


  • The Paris Agreement (COP 21): 
    • The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change under UNFCC. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016.
      • Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
      • To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.
      • The Paris Agreement is a landmark in the multilateral climate change process because, for the first time, a binding agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.