17. Property, plant and equipment - €78,718 million

The breakdown of and changes in property, plant and equipment for 2020 is shown below.

Millions of euro Land Buildings Plant and machinery Industrial and commercial equipment Other assets Leased assets Leasehold improvements Assets under construction and advances Total
Cost net of accumulated impairment losses 663 10,265 160,068 527 1,471 2,614 427 8,266 184,301
Accumulated depreciation - 5,469 96,604 366 1,149 613 291 - 104,492
Balance at Dec. 31, 2019 663 4,796 63,464 161 322 2,001 136 8,266 79,809
Capital expenditure 2 277 2,780 23 81 4 7 5,155 8,329
Assets entering service 8 188 2,711 1 57 19 13 (2,997) -
Exchange differences (26) (287) (2,475) (1) (23) (90) (1) (907) (3,810)
Change in the consolidation scope - - (9) - (15) (1) - 15 (10)
Disposals (1) (3) (81) (1) (15) (40) - (8) (149)
Depreciation - (174) (3,515) (26) (92) (280) (31) - (4,118)
Impairment losses (8) (65) (1,091) - - (10) - (369) (1,543)
Impairment gains - - 31 - - - - - 31
Other changes (1) 75 15 (14) 17 572 - 261 925
Reclassifications from/to assets held for sale - - (226) - - - - (520) (746)
Total changes (26) 11 (1,860) (18) 10 174 (12) 630 (1,091)
Cost net of accumulated impairment losses 637 10,263 159,411 523 1,487 2,994 443 8,896 184,654
Accumulated depreciation - 5,456 97,807 380 1,155 819 319 - 105,936
Balance at Dec. 31, 2020 637 4,807 61,604 143 332 2,175 124 8,896 78,718


Plant and machinery includes assets to be relinquished free of charge with a carrying amount of €8,083 million (€8,976 million at December 31, 2019), largely regarding power plants in Iberia and Latin America amounting to €3,808 million (€4,267 million at December 31, 2019), and the electricity distribution network in Latin America totaling €3,626 million (€3,911 million at December 31, 2019).
For more information on leased assets, see note 19 below.

The types of capital expenditure made during 2020 are summarized below, including that on intangible assets and investment property. These expenditures, totaling €9,548 million, increased by €289 million from 2019, with the increase being particularly concentrated in solar power plants.

Millions of euro  
  2020 2019
Power plants:    
- thermal 452 602
- hydroelectric 332 382
- geothermal 145 145
- nuclear 137 130
- alternative energy sources 4,007 3,695
Total power plants 5,073 4,954
Electricity distribution networks (1) 3,288 3,213
Enel X (e-mobility, e-city, e-industries, e-home) 303 270
Retail customers 460 449
Other 424 373
TOTAL (2) 9,548 9,259

(1) The figure for 2020 does not include €649 million in respect of infrastructure investments within the scope of IFRIC 12 (€692 million in 2019).
(2) The figure for 2019 includes €4 million regarding units classified as “held for sale”.

The Enel Group, in line with the Paris agreements on CO2 emissions reductions and guided by energy efficiency and energy transition objectives, has invested above all in generation plants that exploit alternative energy sources. Capital expenditure on generation plants mainly regard solar plants in Chile and wind farms in the United States, Russia, South Africa, India and Italy.
In order to respond to ever more variable climate developments and, therefore, enhance the resilience of grids, the Group continued to invest in the Distribution Business Line (€3,288 million). The €75 million increase is mainly attributable to higher investments in Italy and Romania for maintenance activities on grids and an increase in connection requests, partially offset by the contraction in investments in development and service quality, especially in South America. Expenditure on digital meters decline as a result of the slowdown in the mass replacement of meters due to the COVID-19 emergency.
In the transition towards the sustainability of urban centers, Enel X, convinced of the key role of electric mobility, has invested above all in the e-city business, particularly in Colombia, with the E-Bus project. In Italy, following the introduction of measures to revive the economy and to encourage energy upgrading and seismic resilience, Enel X has undertaken greater investments in the development of the e-Home business associated with the Vivi Meglio initiative.

The exchange loss of €3,810 million primarily reflects the general depreciation of South American currencies against the euro.
The “change in the consolidation scope” in 2020 mainly refers to the sale of a stake held in the Spanish company Endesa Soluciones SLU, in which the interest is now 14%, as well as the acquisition of control by Enel Green Power Italia of a number of renewable energy companies.

“Impairment losses” amounted to €1,543 million and are mainly attributable to the decarbonization process initiated by the Group, which in 2020 led to the impairment loss on the Bocamina II plant and certain assets of a number of Italian thermal generation plants, as well as Unit 2 of the Brindisi Sud power plant. In addition, the Group took account of climate change impacts in performing the impairment tests.

Following impairment testing, this item was also affected by the impairment loss on assets in Australia as a result of the deterioration of market conditions and in Mexico due to:

  • the increase in regulatory charges as a result of recently approved laws (“Porteo”);
  • a decrease in generation due to regulatory and plant constraints, with particular regard to the Dolores facility;
  • the deconsolidation of the hydroelectric plant.

“Reclassifications from/to assets held for sale” refer mainly to the plants of the South African companies involved in Round 4, Enel Green Power Bulgaria as well as the storage plant owned by Tynemouth Energy Storage.

“Other changes” include the provision for plant dismantling and site restoration costs in the amount of €142 million, new leases of €569 million and the effect of capitalizing interest on loans specifically dedicated to capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment of €154 million (€150 million in 2019), broken down as follows.

Millions of euro            
  2020 Rate % 2019 Rate % Change
Enel Green Power - - 4 1.2% (4) -
Enel Green Power Brazil 12 2.4% 16 5.8% (4) -25.0%
Enel Green Power North America 10 0.2% 16 0.2% (6) -37.5%
Enel Green Power México 23 4.1% 36 7.0% (13) -36.1%
Enel Green Power South Africa 47 6.3% 17 6.4% 30 -
Enel Américas Group 7 5.8% 14 8.3% (7) -50.0%
Enel Chile Group 21 7.2% 12 8.0% 9 75.0%
Endesa Group (1) 3 1.7% 3 1.8% - -
EGP Spain Group - - 3 1.8% (3) -
Enel Russia Group 10 7.2% 5 9.13% 5 -
EGP India Group 1 7.5% 3 7.5% (2) -66.7%
EGP Australia Group 1 3.4% -   1 -
EGP Colombia 2 1.3% -   2 -
Enel Produzione 4 4.3% 9 4.8% (5) -55.6%
Nuove Energie 1 0.5% -   1 -
Enel Green Power Italia 1 3.3% -   1 -
Enel Green Power Chile 4 4.6% -   4 -
Enel Finance International 15 1.8% 21 1.6% (6) -28.6%
Total (2) 162   159   3 1.9%

(1) The 2020 amount for the EGP Spain Group is included in that for the Endesa Group.
(2) The total for 2020 also includes €7 million in capitalized financial expense in respect of intangible assets (€1 million in 2019) and €1 million in other non-current assets (€8 million in 2019).

At December 31, 2020, contractual commitments to purchase property, plant and equipment amounted to €6,409 million.