UPDATE 1-Enel Green Power to focus spending on emerging markets

Thu Apr 3, 2014 7:48am EDT

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* About 73 pct of spending on emerging markets

* To spend 6.1 bln euros to end 2018

* Core earnings to rise around 44 pct by end of plan (Recasts lead, adds detail, background)

MILAN, April 3 (Reuters) - Italy's biggest renewable energy company Enel Green Power said on Thursday it would spend most of the 6.1 billion euros ($8.4 billion) it has earmarked for growth up to 2018 on emerging markets.

The company's new 2014-2018 business plan said some 73 percent of investments would be focused on emerging countries, where there is stronger economic growth and where governments are investing to boost access to electricity.

It said its plan included business opportunities in Uruguay, Ecuador, Kenya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Enel Green Power, which generates electricity from a wide range of renewable sources including wind and solar, has gradually been shifting investments away from its core markets of Italy and Spain to countries with abundant resources, good growth prospects and reliable regulations.

Both Spain and Italy have made radical changes to renewable energy schemes in recent years.

The company, which is present in 16 countries, said it aimed to add 4.6 gigawatts of installed capacity to its global portfolio to take overall capacity to about 13.4 gigawatts in 2018 from 8.9 GW last year.

World electricity demand is expected to grow by 60 percent by 2030, requiring an 80 percent increase in generation capacity, the company said in its presentation.

The company, controlled by utility Enel, said it expected its core earnings to grow around 44 percent by 2018 to about 2.6 billion euros ($3.6 billion). ($1 = 0.7263 Euros) (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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