In a rapidly evolving context the car has become the frontier of innovation. Electric power and connectivity make cars interesting for both utilities and for telecommunication companies, and no longer only for traditional manufacturers.
Enel has undertaken various initiatives in Europe and Latin America on e-mobility, and up to 2016, 36 partnership agreements were active, including the alliance with Nissan signed during COP21 in Paris and the signing in June 2016 of a global framework cooperation agreement with the Chinese company BYD, a leader in the construction of electric vehicles and lithium batteries, for the development at global level of common projects on electric mobility and energy storage.
The spread of recharging infrastructure is one of the key elements for the dissemination of electric mobility. Up to 2016, there were 3,200 recharging stations using Enel technology (public and private recharging points). In Italy, with the EVA+ Project, by 2019, 180 fast recharging points will be installed along the motorway corridors established by the European Commission, while in Spain the installation of fast recharging points for e-busses has started.
e-mobility is also an opportunity in the field of support services, such as the innovative use of cars as “mobile batteries” to provide services to the network (Vehicle-to-Grid – V2G). Aside from in Denmark, Enel is testing V2G in the United Kingdom where it has installed the first 10 bidirectional rechargers, as well as in Germany where it is being approved as an aggregator to provide balancing services to the network, having already launched a pilot project with Nissan and a German start-up (The Mobility House) which works in the storage and electric mobility business. V2G is an example of Open Innovation, since it arises from the union of Enel’s experience in the field of infrastructure and systems to manage e-mobility with Nissan’s as the manufacturer of the e-NV200 Van and LEAF, the bestselling electric car in the world, together with the Californian start-up Nuvve, which provides the V2G aggregation software and with which Enel signed a collaboration agreement at the start of 2016.
Enel was the first company in the world to design, develop and launch V2G recharging infrastructure. Thanks to the Enel rechargers, the energy accumulated by Nissan LEAFs is managed intelligently, on the basis of the real needs of the network, and the owners of electric vehicles become real protagonists on the energy market, providing services to regulate the network in order to facilitate the penetration of renewables. V2G allows owners of vehicles and energy consumers to use their cars as “four-wheel mobile power plants”, with which to accumulate and return to the grid unused energy. By coordinating with other manufacturers, in particular with Mitsubishi, Enel has encouraged the adoption of changes to the CHAdeMO protocol which have been incorporated into the standard protocol, which today enable the V2G functions. Subsequently, Enel launched a collaboration with Nissan with which, at the start of 2015, the Nikola Project was launched in Denmark, with the aim of verifying the means of offering grid regulation services through the aggregation of V2G rechargers. In some countries where the Group is present various local initiatives have been introduced such as car sharing projects (for example, in Italy at the campus of Roma 3 University), with integrated offers reserved for employees (for example, in Italy, Spain, Chile) and for retail customers.
Nissan, Enel e Nuvve launch the first wholly commercial V2G hub in the world in DenmarK
In August 2016, Enel installed ten Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) units at the offices of the Danish utility Frederiksberg Forsyning, which also bought 10 zero-emission Nissan e-NV200 Vans. The V2G hub will help stabilize the national electricity network in Denmark, offering electric capacity services to the network operator Energinet.dk.
“Wholly commercial” means that the project is wholly based on components and technologies which can be bought by customers, from electric vehicles to recharging units and to the platform which manages the V2G system.
Enel and Nissan present “e-go All Inclusive”, the first all-inclusive offer for electric mobility
In November 2016, the first integrated offer was launched in Italy for electric mobility by Enel Energia and Nissan, the world leader in electric mobility: e-go All Inclusive. The offer includes the world’s bestselling electric car (Nissan LEAF), a home recharging station, including installation, and an app to identify and use the stations throughout Italy; all this is at a fixed monthly price and with a single provider.
IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things
IIoT is a recent neologism which represents the new paradigm of smart industry. The online interconnection of devices is what is making the physical world a network of information, thus becoming increasingly common in work and everyday life. Connectivity is the factor which facilitates IoT applications in all ecosystems, and in future years a significant increase is expected, thus in its turn causing an increase in energy consumption. Enel is developing industrial IoT solutions in some manufacturing companies which in the future could come to market. These solutions enable the activation of services linked to predictive diagnostics, workforce management, the retroaction of machines and, not least, safety in plant and worksite operations. This is what is happening at the thermoelectric power plants of Torrevaldaliga Nord, Brindisi (Italy), and Besós (Spain), thanks to the strong drive towards digitalization which allows the set-up of services linked to IoT, and thus, through increasingly sophisticated analyses, the improvement of the process for managing and monitoring the plant.
The complete digitalization of the distribution network, which integrates new Internet of Things and Big Data functions into technologies which are already operational, is one of Enel’s goals. A digital network enables control of the various primary and secondary cabins, minimization of service problems and a significant reduction in the time taken to repair breakdowns that may occur on the network. The introduction of smart meters has transformed secondary cabins into real communication hubs, which are spread over the local area.
Enel Open Meter
On June 27, 2016 Enel presented at the Milan Triennale the Enel Open Meter, the new 2.0 meter. The second-generation smart meter is one of the key elements in Enel’s Open Power strategy, a process of renewal towards a concept of power that is open, accessible, technologically advanced and sustainable. The new meter will be installed in homes and companies starting from next autumn and will replace the first-generation smart meter which as from 2001 replaced the electromechanical meter.
The second-generation meter is the result of a process which takes account of what has happened in recent years on the market and the technological development in the field of metering and remote management. Enel Open Meter complies with the specifications for new meters envisaged by Resolution no. 87/2016 of the Authority for electricity gas and water, which also established a set of performance indicators. The innovative features of the new smart meter include faster changes of supply, the elimination of fixed time bands and the availability of data on electricity use for greater savings. The measurement of customer data every 15 minutes, for example, provides a much more timely picture of daily power use and the consumption behavior of customers, who are increasingly aware of and alert to greater energy efficiency.
The e-home is, by definition, a smart home, which, through an integrated system, improves the comfort, safety and consumption of the people who live in it.
Enel has started 6 collaborations with start-ups, with the aim of testing new solutions that can offer customers innovative services linked to the control and increased efficiency of consumption, personal safety and management of the home.
There are also 16 current partnership agreements and the promotion of various initiatives for the markets of countries such as Italy, Spain, Chile and South Africa. These initiatives include mainly services for energy management, safety, and security. Examples are the initiatives already launched in Italy with the e-goodlife system or in Spain with the Nexo system, both conceived to provide services linked to the smart management of the home, such as the monitoring of consumption, the remote management of devices and the safe management of residences.
In addition, the partnership work continues with the main manufacturers worldwide of domestic storage systems, with the aim of enhancing the product portfolio and encouraging competition among the key players. Storage solutions have an essential role for the development of renewables and electric mobility, sectors in which Enel is a global leader. For some time Enel has had global collaboration agreements with the most accredited and competitive manufacturers on the market: Tesla, BYD, LG Chem, and Aton Storage. The battery made by Aton was included among the new technologies which Enel presented during the Formula E events which took place in Marrakesh on November 12, 2016, and at the Capital Markets Day in London on November 22.
Microgrid & minigrid
The development of microgrids is a solution with great potential for use in rural areas far from the main urban centers or in areas with limited electrification in emerging countries, thus facilitating the proven link between the availability of energy and economic growth. Microgrids enable the management of operations in areas where the electricity network is absent (offgrid) or not robust enough (limited grid).
Enel has developed microgrids above all in Latin America, for example in Ollagüe (Chile), with a hybrid system which includes photovoltaic production, storage and diesel-fueled generators, with the aim of providing electricity to a village of 200 inhabitants.
In India, the population and demand for electricity are growing continuously, despite the fact that over 270 million Indians still do not have access to energy owing to the lack of reliable network infrastructure. In order to solve this problem, the Indian Government is opening up the market also to players other than the current distributors. In particular, a regulation is envisaged which enables minigrid operators to sell energy in a market which is already broadly serviced by traditional operators. Enel is defining with an operator who has long experience in the area a plan to electrify villages and to acquire customers. It is an innovative business model which requires competence throughout the value chain: production, distribution and sales. Every minigrid enables the supply of energy to two towers for telecommunications and to a nearby village, with around 300 residential users and about 30 small businesses. The generation of energy is guaranteed by a 100 kW photovoltaic plant with batteries for storage, a back-up diesel powered generator and 2-3 km of power lines.
Resilient, sustainable and smart cities
In 2015 Japan hosted, in Sendai, the Third Global Conference of the United Nations on risk reduction from disasters caused by natural hazards (earthquakes, floods, drought and cyclones). A systematic effort was made to analyze and reduce exposure to hazards through intelligent management of land and the environment as well as increased prevention and early detection activities.
Following the Sendai Conference, ARISE (Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies) was launched, a joint initiative to create risk-resilient societies by strengthening collaboration between the private and public sector and other stakeholders. Enel is the first global utility which is a member of ARISE and also holds the position of Vice Chairman. With this commitment the company makes available all its experience in the safety of infrastructure, with particular regard to assessing risks and adopting prevention and management measures in the case of an emergency, as well as the use of innovative forms of partnership to create synergies and opportunities to protect the local area and increase resilience while respecting environmental, social and economic sustainability.
In Italy, in October 2016 Enel and ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities) signed a protocol to increase the awareness of Italian institutions and operators about the themes and investments to make Italian cities more resilient, putting its experience and skills at the service of the country. In particular, Enel and ANCI undertook to stimulate the adhesion of Italian cities to the campaign of the United Nations “Making Cities Resilient”, acknowledging that mayors have a key role for the development of the local area and as a driver for the implementation of operational plans. During 2016, with the collaboration of the regional European office of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) a training module was drawn up on resilience, with a specific focus on strategic and operational impacts. The program, which is included in the MBA courses and PhDs of leading Italian universities, saw the participation of over 120 people..
|Innovation in infrastructure on broad scale: storage, electric cars, smart grids and smart meters||+18 million smart meters installed in the 2017-2019 period|
Coordination and development of the V2G project in two countries in 2017 (the UK and Germany) and extension to North America and other European countries by 2021
|Ultra-broad band deployment in Italy||250 municipalities and 9.5 million homes by 2020|
|Promoting global partnerships and supporting high potential start-ups||Selection of 40 new innovative start-ups for development projects by 2020|
Launch of three innovation hubs by 2017
Organization of boot camps for managers and employees at innovation hubs
Organization of two Hackathons each year at the innovation hubs by 2019
|Promoting actions in line with the UN “Making Cities Resilient” campaign||400 municipalities by 2020|
|Training on resilience in MBAs and PhDs in the countries where the Group is present||600 people involved by 2019|