Tech

Enel and ESA to Foster Space Applications in Energy

Enel and the European Space Agency (ESA) are cooperating to promote the development of space-applications in support of energy security as well as economic and environmental sustainability. Through this cooperation, in the first half of 2020, Enel and ESA will be launching a joint initiative related to circular economy and aimed at fostering the development of innovative services combining space data and other technology to monitor public lighting, building efficiency and traffic flows, seeking to improve mobility and environmental sustainability in cities.

The cooperation was announced on December 16, 2019 during ‘Space for Innovation Impact’ event, promoted by ESA, and held at the premises of ASI, the Italian Space Agency.

“The space and energy sectors have always been at the forefront of technology and innovation and we are working together, with the aim to boost sustainability in our cities and infrastructure, protecting the wider environment while creating shared value for us and our stakeholders. Enel is committed to renewable energy and circular economy, as we see them as the drivers to increase living standards in our communities,” said Ernesto Ciorra, Enel’s Chief Innovability Officer.

“Working with Enel gives us the opportunity to foster the development of space applications for the energy sector and in the context of circular cities. We are confident that this cooperation will unlock significant business opportunities for European Industry, and will showcase the potential of space to deliver solutions with environmental and socio-economic benefits at scale,” Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA, added.

In addition to circular economy, the main areas of interest identified by Enel through this partnership encompass applications of space technologies, including satellite data, in electricity network distribution, with a view to (i) reduce technical risks, such as the interference of vegetation with overhead power lines, as well as (ii) to optimize energy services in distribution and generation.

Enel is already supporting ESA in the studies assessing the viability of satellite-based services in support of smart grids and electricity grid maintenance.

The goal is to further improve distribution service and field operations in Europe and South America. The four on-going studies on the matter will be completed in the second quarter of 2020, establishing the framework for their practical applications.

Enel is a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the global power, gas and renewables markets. It is the largest European utility by market capitalization and ordinary EBITDA, and is present in over 30 countries worldwide, producing energy with around 90 GW of managed capacity. Enel distributes electricity through a network of over 2.2 million kilometres, and with around 73 million business and household end users globally, the Group has the largest customer base among its European peers. Enel’s renewables arm Enel Green Power already manages around 46 GW of wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower plants in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organization with 22 Member States.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. ESA Business Applications and Space Solutions aims at reaching commercial exploitation of space assets, data and capabilities addressing technical feasibility and business development. This includes the development of operational services for a wide range of users through the combination of different systems, and support in creating viable companies as well as to existing companies.

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