UPDATE 1-Enel sees more opportunities in US renewables under Biden administration

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MILAN, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Enel sees more opportunities for its renewable energy business in the U.S. where prospects have improved with the arrival of the Biden administration, the head of the Italian utility’s green energy unit said on Friday.

“We have an already ambitious plan so I won’t be saying we will be changing it...but the outlook is more positive, there will be more opportunities,” Enel Green Power Chief Executive Salvatore Bernabei said.

Enel aims to add a further 1 gigawatt of green capacity in the United States this year and opportunities could include new power purchase agreements with corporations, he said.

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has signed a raft of measures to combat climate change, as he pursues green policies he bills as a boon for job creation.

Bernabei, who took over the green business unit in October, said Enel Green Power was also planning to grow in Europe, especially in Italy, Spain and Romania. The group is monitoring Germany and France but there are no short-term plans there.

However, he said the group was not looking for acquisitions.

“We can count on a huge pipeline of 140 gigawatts to 2030,” he said.

Enel, one of the world’s biggest green energy companies, is planning to spend around 70 billion euros ($85 billion) on renewable energy by 2030, almost tripling its fully-owned capacity.

Bernabei said the group would make a stronger push for growth in Asia and Africa, bringing in outside investors under its “stewardship” model.

Enel will spend 160 billion euros over the next 10 years but expects to attract another 30 billion euros under the programme. It aims to be totally carbon-free by 2050.

“This is clearly a future with no gas,” Bernabei said.

Enel, which controls Spanish utility Endesa, will phase out most of its coal-fired capacity by 2025, he said, adding the remaining capacity would go by 2027. ($1 = 0.8239 euros) (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Agnieszka Flak, Kirsten Donovan)