The Future of Electric Grid | Enel Group

We're building the electricity grids of the future

Welcome to Global Infrastructure and Networks. Your energy, wherever you are: we're the world's first private electricity grid operator.

More than 34,000 people

are engaged in building and managing the infrastructure providing the foundation for the energy transition of the future

2.2 million km

of electricity lines in 8 countries

484.6 TWh

of energy distributed in 2020

Our mission: Grid Futurability®

Today, electricity grid operators are playing an important role in managing the infrastructure underpinning the energy transition process, thus facilitating the move towards decarbonization and electrification.

Our main role at Enel Global Infrastructure and Networks is to guarantee a high quality, accessible and reliable service via an efficient and digitalized grid, thus enabling a more sustainable lifestyle through the use of electricity. 

A more electrified world that relies on renewable energy requires resilient, participatory and sustainable electricity grids to accelerate the growth of all communities. Welcome to Enel's Grid Futurability®!

Participation

Our networks are flexible, open systems in which energy customers, vendors, aggregators, and producers as well as new players can operate and work together so as to accelerate the energy transition process. As system operators, we open our networks up to allow active participation from stakeholders, providing an inclusive platform where they can all operate in the same way, encouraging the use of electricity to generate shared value. Similarly, we work constantly with the supply chain, with innovators and with customers to jointly develop new solutions and create a partnership ecosystem.

Resiliency

More distributed energy resources connected to the grid, more consumers injecting renewable energy into the network, more electric cars on the roads: these are just some of the reasons why the infrastructure needs to be developed to keep pace with a new operating environment. Digitalizing our networks will become essential in order to guarantee reliability, quality and continuity of service and to enable the management of new flexibility systems.

Sustainability

We're working all over the world to accelerate the penetration of renewable energy and the move towards a net-zero emissions world. We're also committed to widening access to energy and increasing the electrification of consumption in the areas in which we operate. In line with the principles of the circular economy, and with the objective of maximizing economic value and reducing the impact on the environment, including CO2 emissions, we're completely rethinking our entire value chain, redesigning the production processes of our assets so as to include as much sustainable and recyclable raw material as possible.

Our innovation

From laboratories to the real world, our state-of-the-art technologies are making energy transition possible.

For 20 years we've been committed to creating a knowledge ecosystem to develop network digitalization and bring it to fruition. We're now the benchmark in terms of smart metering, thanks to the more than 44 million smart meters installed on our electricity grids throughout the world, and we're designing new automation systems for our distribution networks in order to satisfy the growing demand for energy. We're aiming to reach 77 million final users by the end of 2023, 64% of which will be digitalized thanks to smart meter technology, targeting 49 million assets installed on our networks throughout the world. At the same time, we're working on the implementation of an innovative, integrated operating model to comprehensively manage our networks, leveraging the opportunities offered by digitalization and by emerging technologies. 

As a global player serving both rural areas and a number of the planet's large cities, we work with startups, suppliers and partners to develop Grid Futurability® through our international network of Innovation Hubs&Labs.

 

Haifa (Israel)

The Infralab laboratory is focused on the relationship between physical infrastructure and the digital world through Network Digital Twin® technologies which look to create a virtual model of the network that's capable of replicating its operation, testing it in various conditions and anticipating potential problems. We're working with startups to identify the best innovative solutions to resolve a number of challenges posed by our networks, with new experimental devices, the use of Artificial Intelligence and solutions offered by the Internet of Things (IoT).

Malaga (Spain)

The Smartcity Malaga Living Lab was set up to experiment with and test smart grid technologies in a real environment with a view to creating the city of the future: a rich ecosystem of innovation which explores energy efficiency solutions, Demand Response systems as well as remote and secure information management services.

Milan (Italy)

The European hub where we're building the future of network technology in the fields of automation, digitalization and industry 4.0. It is here that we developed the electronic meter that made Italy the first country in the world to implement an entirely digitalized electricity grid.

São Paulo (Brazil)

And in South America, through the São Paulo Lab, we're collaborating with startups to develop new technologies in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality and the Internet of Things (IoT). The Vila Olímpia project, South America's first Network Digital Twin, is underway in São Paulo.

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Smart Meters

Smart meters are the heart and soul of grid digitalization, a fundamental cornerstone to enable the development and evolution of the Smart Grids of the future. Enel was the global pioneer of these technologies with the development of the “Telegestore” (“Telemanager”) system in 2000, the world's first ever smart metering system. Today, after 20 years of experience and three generations of increasingly more evolved technologies that have been developed during that time, Enel is a global player that continues to set the standard in this field and is the world leader in terms of the number of smart meters installed on its distribution networks, particularly in Europe and Latin America. 

The latest generation of Enel smart meters, which was developed in 2016, is the “Open Meter” family (currently in the installation phase in Italy). It is the most evolved system currently available on the global market and came about through the use of state-of-the-art technologies and the implementation of new innovative functionality which offers benefits to all market operators.

Since the start of this century, we've produced more than 85 million digital meters, 44 million of which are currently installed on our distribution networks, meaning 60% of our customers are supplied with this technology as we work towards our objective of reaching 100% by 2030. Of these 44 million devices, approximately 19.6 million are latest generation (the “Open Meter” family), and this will rise to 28.8 million by the end of 2022. 

Smart meters give customers greater awareness and more control over their energy consumption, while simultaneously enhancing the grid's efficiency and resiliency, factors which together represent a key step towards tackling the challenges posed by the energy transition. The “Open Meter” smart meters, in particular, facilitate the automatic and intelligent management of the grid by virtue of the fact that they can be used for both commercial purposes and as devices for providing a wide range of information on the functioning of the network: in other words, they are very advanced sensors. Furthermore, they can also flag up consumption anomalies and facilitate the management of energy storage, as well as of IoT sensor systems based on the cloud and on Big Data analysis. The “Open Meter” family of smart meters also provides for customer dedicated communication channels through which they can receive real-time, detailed information regarding their consumption, thereby increasing the final users’ awareness of their habits and giving them the opportunity to play a more active role in the energy market.

 

Smart Grid Services

Advanced distribution network automation systems are essential for managing the complexities posed by new electrification and decarbonization scenarios: they enable the integration of distributed energy sources, the supply of new customer-focused services and make it possible to guarantee the efficiency, reliability, flexibility, resiliency and security of the networks. Enel provides the complete portfolio of services, from the planning and adaptation of network automation systems right through to their reconfiguration.