Our history | Enel Group
If you look at our history, you’ll have no doubt about where we're headed. From our beginnings in Italy, our journey has always been dedicated to the future.
A journey in time and energy
Enel (Italy’s national entity for electricity) was founded in 1962 with the fusion of more than a thousand energy producers. With a solid bedrock of hydroelectric power as our starting point, our task was to power the country’s rapid growth. We modernized and extended the national grid, later connecting it to the European network.
Navigating a sea of change
The energy crisis of the following decade spurred us to explore alternative sources of power, including nuclear. But above all, we pioneered a number of renewable energy plants. We installed one of the largest hydroelectric plants of its kind, the first grid-connected solar installation, the first photovoltaic power station, and Italy’s first wind farm. Then the Italian electricity market was liberalized, and we became a private company. Our business focus was the production, distribution, and supply of energy.
Entering the New Millennium
As the new millennium came into sight, so did our aptitude for digital technologies. In 2001 we designed and installed the world’s first smart meters. Becoming progressively more international, we acquired Endesa in Spain, established a major presence in Latin America, and bought North America’s first renewable energy plant. By this point, innovation and sustainability had become our two biggest drivers, and in 2004 we became the first private company in the renewable power sector to be listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
We invested in Enel Green Power in 2008, long before renewables were a viable reality
Three years later we joined the UN Global Compact and accelerated our efforts to open up to collaboration with all kinds of different sectors. As part of our Open Power strategy, we have worked together with companies, research centers, institutions, startups, and universities to develop new solutions. And to cultivate social and economic sustainability, we took renewable energies to distant places and people who had none.
Now that climate change has become increasingly evident, we are fully aware of the impact the new energy era can have. We have stepped up our investments in digitalization, e-mobility, circular economy, and decarbonization. Today our sustainable approach to creating long-term shared value is guiding the energy transition. And we aim to carry on finding new, innovative tools to contribute to positive growth, without ever losing sight of the future of our society.
Enel X, Gridspertise and Enel X Way: turning energy into new opportunities for growth and progress
Using this vision as our springboard, we set up Enel X, which aims to offer everyone, everywhere, the opportunity to create new value by using energy innovatively; Enel X Way, whose mission is to simplify e-mobility by supplying tools for people, companies and public administrative bodies; and Gridspertise, which is turning conventional electricity grids into smart grids all over the world.
We use a platform-based approach to create digital solutions that make the complex simple. Our smart technologies help our customers discover new ways of transforming energy use in everything from grids to homes, industry and e-mobility. We want to drive the transformation of the energy sector by using an open strategy that’s focused on sustainability and innovation.
More digital, for sustainability
Thanks to digitalization, electricity is becoming more accessible to everyone. This is happening in a sustainable way, and it is contributing to the decarbonization of the economy. The digital revolution is one of the cornerstones of Enel’s industrial strategy, and it is a key tool for developing smart grids and value-added services.