Each year Europe's 2,400 electricity distribution businesses supply 2,700 billion kilowatt-hours to some 260 billion customers, according to the electricity distribution map that was made by Eurelectric, the European electricity industry association. As a detailed sketch of the electricity sector in Europe it's particularly important, because these businesses they will play a decisive role in accelerating the transition towards a low carbon economy.
Electricity is the most effective medium through which a sustainable energy system can be reached, all the more so because the sector is being radically transformed by important innovations.
Renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart technology all have a role in electricity production, transmission and distribution systems. All of Europe's large electricity companies are putting their focus on these three areas, with the Enel Group leading the way in terms of knowledge, investment and commitment.
Enel is advancing rapidly with its research and demonstration activities in a whole host of smart energy innovations, responding to the major challenges being faced by the distribution sector, such as the development of distributed generation and electric mobility and an increased efficiency in the final use of energy.
These are also important challenges for European industry, even if it's a global leader in this sector. According to Eurelectric, development and modernisation of the electricity network will require €600billion of investment by 2020, of which two thirds will be used for work on the distribution sector.