The Future of Electric Grid | Enel Group

We're building the electricity grids of the future

Welcome to Enel Grids, a world leader in electricity distribution who guarantees electricity supply through efficient, resilient and digital grids.

More than 30,000 people

Directly involved in the construction and operation of our infrastructure

2 million km

of electricity lines in seven countries

387 TWh

of electricity distributed in 2023

At Enel Grids, we operate with a constant focus on the highest standards of service, working on advanced grid digitalization to foster renewable’s development and to ensure a superior experience in our customers' journey towards electrification, leveraging the opportunities offered by emerging technologies.


Evolving role of the distribution network

In the world of energy, we are witnessing a bottom-up revolution, in which customers are at the forefront of green energy self-generation, creating new challenges for electricity grids that must accommodate more intermittent and two-way energy flows from distributed generation sources. Every month Enel is adding around 45,000 new connections to its distribution networks from producers and prosumers in Italy, Spain and South America. We have reached over 2 million of distributed generation’s connections and by the end of 2023, more than 1.5 million units were connected to our grids in Italy alone. A growing number of these are equipped with batteries and storage systems to optimize feed-in and withdrawal energy from the grid.

The transformation of the distribution grids’ operating model is driven by a pervasive level of digitization and automation of the infrastructure, combined with advances in grid-edge computing technologies. Enel Grids' ambition is to equip more than 70 percent of its global customer-base with smart meters within the next three years, considering that in countries such as Italy and Spain our customers are already benefiting from full roll-out of new generation smart meters. In the context of an accelerated energy transition, this commitment to digitalization translates into enhanced reliability and cost-efficiency of the electricity distribution service.


Resilience is the key

Reliable grids for an electrified world

In the upcoming future, an increasing number of sectors of the economy will depend more heavily on electricity, requiring more resilient distribution grids to withstand climate change and extreme operating conditions.

We are focusing on the hosting capacity and digitalization of the network to better integrate renewables and increase the reliability of our service. After previous digitalization waves, focused on smart metering to remotely access the consumption data in real time and on automating the networks to better resist blackouts and to instantly reconfigure power flows, we are now progressing into a new era of distributed grid intelligence. Digitalization and deployment of advanced computing capabilities are fundamental to deal with a major increase in electricity consumption and a different approach by customers to self-produced energy. A new distribution system paradigm is deploying capabilities to seamlessly integrate the devices and distributed generation assets in our clients' houses, preparing us for a more flexible grid.

In this context, Enel Group’s three-year business plan, presented at the end of 2023, reinforces investments on distribution grids. The plan allocates €18.6 billion, representing 53% of the Group’s investments from 2024-2026. This is a big shift towards prioritizing grid enhancement as the primary and most effective lever to enable the energy transition.


Stakeholder interaction and involvement

Opening new opportunities through flexibility

To accelerate the shift to an electrified world, power grids need to evolve into inclusive platforms that allow electricity distributors to become orchestrators of an energy ecosystem encompassing not only traditional grid users but also new prosumers, as well as aggregators of distributed energy resources and operators of electric charging infrastructure.

The evolution of a regulatory landscape that should adapt to the changing dynamics of the energy sector is essential in this context. A stable and predictable regulatory environment is crucial for all actors in the power system, especially for distribution system operators who need to deploy massive anticipatory investments to proactively meet customer needs.

Grid digitalization

A response to new challenges

In the years to come, the share of our electricity originating from large, centralized and distant generation plants, travelling in one direction to consumers, will be less and less. Energy will rather come from a much larger number of renewable plants, of different sizes, whose production will depend on the rhythms of the sun and wind, and from producers who are simultaneously consumers. These local electricity sources will be measured in scales of millions, three times more than just a few years ago, and they rely on the same network infrastructure to receive and feed energy into the system. Grids must now manage both the traditional unilateral and stable flow of energy and the variable and decentralized nature of renewable sources. This requires the development and implementation of innovative approaches to ensure grid stability, reliability, and efficiency.

It also requires the deployment of distributed computing power at the edge of the grid, for local data management and grid performance optimization. To enable this advanced distributed intelligence, Enel Grids is developing, together with its subsidiary Gridspertise, the Quantum Edge Device. This innovative solution is designed to enhance power quality monitoring, self-healing automation, and to support other essential functions at the secondary substation level. 


Grids and Innovability

Innovation for Grids

Increasing operational efficiency, reducing technical and non-technical network losses, making the grid more resilient to extreme events, improving people safety, increasing grid flexibility, and enabling new business models for DSO (Distribution system operators) are a medium-long term goals we must reach continuously in the next future.

In line with these purposes, Enel Grids' Innovation activities focus on resilience, operational excellence, and safety, and seek advanced solutions that can ensure and enhance an increasingly safe environment for workers and a positive, sustainable impact on business.

In particular, the projects pursued are developed under three directions: "Resilient, adaptive low impact grid" to adopt new sustainable technologies, approaches and materials aimed at improving grid resilience and mitigating environmental impact. "Safety and Operational Excellence," for the safety and increased effectiveness of grid operations and "New DSO role" to build the networks as a digital platform on which to develop and implement new services and collaborate with industry stakeholders creating shared value.



The Open Power Grids Association

Sharing is caring

Over the past years, Enel has encouraged the convergence of technological solutions for the electricity grid towards global standards to make them more efficient, safe and sustainable. To make rapid progress, we need to share with other players the effort to identify the best technical solutions, in an open and collaborative environment. This will enable us to achieve sustainable infrastructures for a zero-emissions future. For this purpose, we promoted Open Power Grids Association that represents an open ecosystem with a technical focus: to unite grid operators, manufacturers, research institutes and other players in the electricity sector in identifying the best grid solutions and the adoption of increasingly efficient and secure technologies for an innovative and sustainable infrastructure and to accelerate the energy transition. The aim is to share and develop standards and technologies for critical components of the power grid to create truly sustainable grids.


“We need to work on digitalization for a scenario in which we will be involving a wide range of potential actors, distributed across geographical areas, in contributing to the security of supply. We are operating in a system that makes distribution networks more and more important and strategic, and electricity more fundamental to everyday needs in people’s lives.”
Gianni Vittorio Armani, Head of Enel Grids and Innovability