The company’s Research Area employs 200 highly-skilled researchers, and has laboratories and test areas throughout the country.
Using these resources Enel develops projects outlined in the Strategic Plan for Innovation and the Environment, which have been put in place to assess and develop technology that will be able to produce clean, affordable energy.
The Research Area carries out experiments and runs test models to see if they will be applicable at power plants, first carrying out detailed laboratory studies on the various technologies, processes and systems that they feel could have practical use within the industry, then testing prototypes at experimental facilities.
In 2011 the Enel Group undertook research and development work on innovative technologies for a value of around 97 million euro, an increase of around 10 million euro (+11.5%) compared to 2010. The commitment to research and development was focused for around 64% to innovation in the field of the fossil fuel generation, in order to reduce its impact (carbon capture and storage, emissions reduction, increase of efficiency in production plant), around 20% to the development of renewable sources (with a focus on photovoltaic and thermodynamic solar, geothermal, wind and biomass, energy accumulation), and around 16% to energy efficiency
programs and the development of smart grids, distributed generation and electric mobility.
Research and innovation activities form part of the Plan for Technological Innovation which provides an overall framework of the research and innovation
strategy and projects developed within the Group. The Plan has been developed in an integrated form with Endesa and in coordination with all the Group companies and aims to increase the Group’s competitiveness and enhance its technological and environmental leadership.
Enel’s operations centres and cutting-edge testing facilities play a key role in the development of sustainable energy production; it’s a research programme that has been 30 years in the making, and one that makes Enel an industry leader: