Hidden Costs of the Path of Coal and Carbon versus Possibilities for a Cleaner and Brighter Future

The electricity provided by power companies and the employment that electricity provision creates are economic goods that benefit society and drive economic and social development. However, in addition to paying electricity companies for the kilowatts used, society also pays a hidden price for electricity that often goes unreported and is not included on corporate financial balance sheets. These hidden, or externalized, costs take the form of negative effects on public health and agriculture, and the economic losses associated with these impacts. Electricity companies are understandably less interested in publicizing these significant negative impacts and costs to society than they are in promoting their positive impacts. However, in order to have an informed public debate about the advantages and disadvantages of various strategies for supplying societys demand for energy, all direct and indirect costs, benefits, and impacts associated with the different possible energy systems, these externalities must be brought to light and discussed in an open manner. This report, commissioned by Greenpeace Italy, aims to raise public awareness about some of the hidden costs and benefits of Italian power company Enels electricity generation activities in order to contribute to an informed and open public debate about national and international energy strategies.

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publication cover - Enel Today and Tomorrow
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