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The CEO of Italian power firm Enel has cast doubt on the continued benefit of using gas to produce electricity, telling CNBC it is “stupid” and that cheaper and better alternatives are now available.

Speaking to CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick at the World Economic Forum, Francesco Starace discussed where Europe had sourced its gas from over the years, name-checking both Libya and Russia.

Russia was the biggest supplier of petroleum oils and natural gas to the EU last year, according to Eurostat. The bloc is now attempting to wean itself off Russian hydrocarbons following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.  

“I think this is a big wake up call,” Starace said, adding that “too much gas” was being used “in a stupid way, because burning gas to produce electricity is, today, stupid.”

Instead, Starace said there were more attractive alternatives.

“You can produce electricity better, cheaper, without using gas ... Gas is a precious molecule and you should leave it for … applications where that is needed,” he added.

[Anmar Frangoul]

More: Burning gas to produce electricity is ‘stupid,’ the CEO of power giant Enel says


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