The Future of Electric Grid | Enel Group

We're building the electricity grids of the future

Welcome to Enel Grids. A better grid, for everyone: we’re a world leader in electricity distribution services, and we aim to be the best in the countries where we’re present.

More than 32,000 people

who are involved in the construction and management of our infrastructure

2.024 million km

of electricity lines in eight countries

507.7 TWh

of energy distributed in 2022

For 20 years, we’ve been committed to creating a knowledge ecosystem for the development of grid digitalization. Today we’re the benchmark for smart metering, thanks to the nearly 46 million smart meters installed on our electricity grids worldwide, and we’re designing new automation systems for our distribution grids to meet the growing demand for electrification. 

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

We aim to achieve the digitalization of 80% of our customers by 2025, thanks to the world's most advanced smart meter technology, developed by Gridspertise. We will then have more than 48 million of these devices installed on our grids worldwide.


Our Vision: Grid Futurability

In order to create a better grid, for everyone, at Enel Grids we’ve developed Grid Futurability, an industrial approach that anticipates the needs of our stakeholders and leverages innovative technological developments to meet them. Our ambition is to provide the best quality of service to our customers through a combination of excellent services, attention to people, and ever-higher sustainability standards, and to prepare for an energy scenario in which most of the electricity generated around the world will be fed into the system through distribution networks. 

Grid Futurability guides a plan for investments with the goal of harmonizing short-term and long-term strategic needs, anticipating and maximizing benefits and stakeholder satisfaction, and reducing the carbon footprint of our grid assets. 


Resilience is the key

Reliable grids for an electrified world

In the future, an increasing number of sectors of the economy will rely on electricity, so distribution grids need to be even more resilient, especially in light of climate change and the extreme operating conditions it can bring. At Enel Grids, we’re constantly improving the reliability of our service, leveraging continuously developing technologies and innovative projects. The Enel Group has earmarked €15 billion for investments in distribution grids from 2023 to 2025, in order to further improve the quality and resilience of the infrastructure, dedicating 80% of investments to its grids in Europe.

This approach, along with significant streamlining in the processes of handling customer demand, will ensure a reduction in grid connection time in the near future.


Stakeholder interaction and involvement

Opening up new opportunities through flexibility

To enable and accelerate the transition to an electrified world, power grids will become inclusive platforms, enabling electricity distributors to take on a new and flexible role, transforming themselves into orchestrators of an energy system that includes suppliers, regulatory institutions, power producers, customers, prosumers, distributed energy resource aggregators, and electric vehicle charging operators. This will usher in a new era in which all stakeholders can act as equals, optimizing services and business solutions, technologies and processes, and evolving through Enel's digital technologies. 

In the full spirit of Open Power, through the Grid Futurability roadmap, we want to promote the active participation of customers in the electrification of the world's economies and increase the capacity of grids to integrate growing distributed renewable generation, thereby contributing to the achievement of the Enel Group's Zero Emissions goals.


Sustainability with a holistic approach

Providing green energy by embracing circularity

The grids of the future will integrate sustainability, business and innovative circular economy solutions at every stage of the value chain, while taking into account the current and future needs of our customers. With Grid Futurability, we’re committed to implementing shared value models in the countries where we operate, promoting initiatives and partnerships that support the economic and social progress of our communities. We incorporate sustainability and circularity principles into our processes and technologies right from scouting and design, making them, where possible, mandatory requirements in the supply of key distribution grid components (such as transformers, panels, switches and cables). We maximize the use of recycled materials in input and the reuse of secondary raw materials from end-of-life components along the whole supply chain, with the goal of reducing emissions and our business’s impact on the planet in general. 

A "green" grid is not just a grid that is able to accommodate and foster renewable energy and clean electrification: decarbonizing infrastructure is a collective challenge that requires collaboration in order to tackle direct and indirect emissions. This means operating the infrastructure more efficiently, committing to efforts to reduce technical losses, and engaging the supply chain to reduce indirect emissions, including emissions from acquired materials and components. 

At Enel Grids, innovation is fully integrated into our business, thanks in part to partnerships with an ecosystem of startups, entrepreneurs and partners. This open-source "Innovability®" approach improves the quality of our results thanks to our close collaborations in different sectors and with different types of expertise.


Why innovation works

We’re developing an open innovation network that can foster the exchange of innovative solutions that meet the new needs of the energy transition through an ongoing exchange with companies and industry partners, universities, research centers, startups, scale-ups, and professionals looking for sustainable, safe and effective solutions that promote electrification. 

Our international network of Enel Hubs & Labs is an important tool for our Open Innovation approach. In particular, the Enel AI&Robotics Lab in Tel Aviv, located in one of the most attractive and dynamic startup ecosystems in the world, allows us to collaborate with innovative startups and partners in the search for business opportunities in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and new sustainable materials, and accelerate their development in our Innovation Lab. 

In addition, we devote special attention to the Flexibility Lab initiative for the advancement of the grid as a digital platform on which to develop and implement new services, innovation, and technologies that promote flexibility, and to collaborate with industry stakeholders to create shared value. This is in line with our commitment to decarbonization and to creating a zero-emissions grid.


Open Innovation for a zero-emissions future

The increasing level of infrastructure digitalization, combined with technological advances in real-time computing and communication capabilities, is at the heart of the transformation of the global operating model of our grids. Our ambition is to have 80% of our customers digitalized by 2025, but also to progressively digitalize our entire infrastructure and field operations. That’s why we’ll invest more than 1.5 billion euros in digitalization between 2023 and 2025.

We’re testing and developing a range of new technologies to make work more efficient and for safety training purposes – such as Quantum Computing, to improve the planning of field activities; the Quantum Edge Device, to digitalize secondary substations; and the Network Digital Twin, with its data analysis models, to optimize grid planning. 

The next milestone in Enel's digitalization of its grids comes from the intersection of several now-mature technologies: the digital platform model, the social network ecosystem, and the Network Digital Twin system. The opportunities that can arise from the combination of these three technologies materialize in what is called the Metaverse, an articulated ecosystem of technologies that can be combined in new ways to provide an immersive, real-time experience of collaboration and interaction with both other people and with objects in a virtual space that simulates the real-world context.

For grids, the GridVerse will be one of many interoperable instances of the Metaverse that will host use cases related to collaborative design, virtual training, remote assistance and simulations of network behavior.



The Open Power Grids Association

Over the past decade, Enel has encouraged the convergence of technological solutions for the electricity grid towards global standards in order 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.

In fact, only by involving other grid stakeholders will we be able to accelerate the development of standardized, cost-effective and sustainable grid components for the benefit of the entire industrial system worldwide. It’s for this very purpose that we’ve launched the Open Power Grids Association: an open-source model that brings together grid operators, producers, research institutes and other stakeholders. The aim is to share and develop standards and technologies for critical components of the power grid in order to create grids that are truly sustainable.