ENEL is Italy’s major energy utility company, the second largest in Europe by market capitalization. So, it’s particularly interesting to illustrate its early behavior towards research on LENR, as shown from publicly available sources.
Formerly a state-owned monopoly founded in 1962 and with headquarters in Rome, ENEL is now partially privatized with Italian government control: the largest shareholder (31,2%) is the Italian Ministry of Economy & Finance. Today, ENEL manages the majority of the Italian electricity distribution network and is a multinational power company operating in 32 countries, with a particular focus in Europe and in Latin America.
As very well documented in a video broadcast on the Italian TV some years ago and also available on YouTube clicking here, in 2004 ENEL analyzed the opportunity to participate in the successful research program on LENR carried out, in Italy, by the ENEA (at the time, the Italian “National Agency for Alternative Energies”) at its laboratories in Frascati, near Rome, under the supervision of Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Laureate for Physics in 1984.
Indeed, the authors of the TV program “L’inchiesta”, conducted by the journalist Maurizio Torrealta (see the photo above), were in possession of an ENEL’s document dated February 2, 2004, in which the Company evaluated the possibility to come into play. Such program of investigative journalism, lasting about 25 minutes, was created in 2004 and has been broadcasted on the Italian state-owned TV channel RaiNews24, addressing over 100 topics.
We read, in this very interesting letter shown on TV: “The phenomenon does not seem to be totally a hoax, although its application in the field of power generation seems remote”. And the ENEL’s internal report, signed by G. Liberati, concludes with these words: “The decision on the possible financing must consider, alongside the scientific aspects, also the aspects regarding the image”. It was a bit like saying: be careful not to lose your face!
The cited conclusion of the analysis made in 2004 by G. Liberati on the ENEL’s possible participation in the financing of ENEA activities related to the cold fusion.
The management of ENEL got the message and, at the time, not even one euro was invested in this type of research, despite it was already knew – especially among the experts of cold fusion – that similar studies could have some impact in the energy field.
It is curious that the same TV program, some minutes before, had revealed that on March 4, 2003, the managers of Electricité de France (EDF) – the French energy giant – had met the heads of the French “Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission” (CEA), the institution which manages all nuclear activities in Paris, civil and military. In such summit, the French power company asked the CEA to return to work on cold fusion.
Antonella De Ninno – physicist leader at ENEA of an excellent research group on LENR including also Antonio Frattolillo – tells some details: “We received a strange call by the High Commissariat for Atomic Energy. Then we received a letter in which their chief invited us to go to Paris to hold a seminar on cold fusion. Scientists from the Commissariat for Atomic Energy listened the report of the ENEA’s physicists and decided to pursue the matter”.
The three scientists invited in France by the CEA were Emilio Del Giudice (INFN, Milan), Antonella De Ninno and Antonio Frattolillo (ENEA, Frascati). But the CEA was not interested in a collaboration. It simply responded to a request by EDF to see what Italian scientists had done.
As Antonella De Ninno reports to the interviewer: “Three persons came here, were guests at ENEA for one day, visited the laboratory, made very detailed questions, took photographs, made drawings. We misinterpreted it as a willingness on their part to cooperate”.
Thanks to the information collected at ENEA in Frascati, EDF created in France a cold fusion laboratory in one of its research centers, located near Paris. On the contrary, almost in the same period the Italian ENEL had missed its first opportunity in this field…