Enel hosts ‘Grid Futurability’, the pre-COP26 event highlighting the importance of grids for a net-zero future

Published on Friday, 1 October 2021

“Grid Futurability is the global and customer-oriented industrial approach that Enel is adopting to identify and prioritize renewal, reinforcement and expansion of the grids in the coming years. It involves the strategic spread of technologies to make better use of existing power networks as well as to build fully digital Smart Grids, combining robust infrastructure with advanced technological solutions to make them more resilient, participatory, and sustainable, minimizing the tariff impact on final customers. By prioritizing the goals of the energy transition, Grid Futurability lays a roadmap to guide investments in both urban and rural areas, harmonizing long-term and short-term strategic needs, and maximizing benefits and stakeholder satisfaction, while showcasing how we can meaningfully lower the carbon footprint of network assets.”

– Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel Global Infrastructure and Networks business line

The Enel Group has earmarked 60 billion euros of investments in distribution grids from 2021-2030, and with its industrial approach Grid Futurability®, will make a better use of legacy infrastructures but also will transform the infrastructure so as to allow for higher hosting capacity of renewables, to deploy local flexibility services and markets leveraging on distributed energy resources and to promote a more active participation of customers and stakeholders in the electrification of world economies, giving a decisive contribution to the Net-Zero ambitions of cities and nations.

The event featured the voices of leading DSOs from Italy and the UK, which highlighted in practical terms the challenges that grids are facing with more service connection requests, especially from distributed renewable generation assets, electrification of new energy needs (e.g. electric vehicles, heat pumps) and new market players. They also focused on the importance of implementing new digital technologies that promote a more active participation of customers and stakeholders.

The Grid Futurability® for a Net-Zero World event was presented by Enel in collaboration with the network distribution business of SSE, Principal Partner for COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 and underscores the importance of prioritizing energy infrastructure upgrades in the context of ever more stringent climate change mitigation targets and measures being discussed and needed at international, national and local levels.

According to BNEF’s latest estimates (NEO2021), more than 20 trillion US dollars must be invested in grids worldwide until 2050 to support a new power system accommodating electric mobility and other forms of electrification alongside renewables. These investments are crucial to extend the life of legacy infrastructures making them fit for the new operating scenarios, as well as to lower the carbon footprint of electricity infrastructures.

Enel is a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the global power and renewables markets. It is the largest European utility by ordinary EBITDA, and is present in over 30 countries worldwide, producing energy with around 89 GW of installed capacity. Enel distributes electricity through a network of over 2.2 million kilometers, and with around 75 million end users is the 1st network operator globally1. Enel Green Power is the world’s largest renewable private player, with around 50 GW of wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower plants installed in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Enel X, Enel's global advanced energy services business line, is the worldwide demand response leader, with a total capacity of around 7.4 GW managed globally; the company has installed 137 MW of storage capacity as well as, in the electric mobility sector, about 232,000 EV charging points2 around the globe.

1 Publicly owned operators not included.

2 Public and private charging points, including interoperability points.