The Future of Smart Cities Begins at Expo 2015

Published on Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Urbanisation, digitalisation, sustainability. During the workshop “The Expo of Ideas”, Enel's Head of Global Infrastructure and NetworksLivio Gallo, highlighted these three key concepts, which have guided the company's development of the innovative technologies that will be on show at  Expo Milano 2015, to which visitors and experts will come from around the world.

The event officially opened with a conference featuring 500 experts and opinion leaders taking part in 42 roundtables. Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, spoke at the conference, while Pope Francis and former President of Brazil Lula da Silvia offered their thoughts on the key issues via video messages.

By 2050, more than 70 percent of the population is expected to live in urban areas. While this could potentially have a negative impact on the quality of life and services to citizens, it is also a great opportunity thanks to the new services offered by energy-efficient electric vehicles.

It has been estimated that by the year 2020 there will be dozens of billions smart devices for 7 billion people. We will be living in what has been called a sensory swarm, and power grids will have to transmit a huge amount of signals. This does not only pertain to electricity, however: smart grids will measure  water, gas, waste, district heating and renewable energy data, transmitting them to smart cities in order to create a sustainable urban energy development plan.

'Sustainability is the third keyword', said Gallo. 'Enel's objective is a sustainable development that offers a high quality of service to citizens. This is what we will showcase at Expo 2015, and what we are aiming for through the installation of pilot plants in each of the countries in which we operate.'

Enel's has brought to Expo 2015 a pavilion, three control stations, an e-mobility display area, an installed capacity of 75 megawatts, 100 smart substations, 100 charging stations for electric vehicles, an electrochemical energy storage system, broadband transmission, 8,500 LED lights and one million kilowatts of  efficient energy that will be consumed each day.

'We will be able to measure how much energy is consumed in each pavilion, in addition to the network loads and how available energy is optimised, in order to minimise costs and the impact on the environment', concluded Gallo. 'Technology offers immense potential for development, and I believe that Enel is going in the right direction.'