Homes, businesses and cities. Accelerating circularity is one of the missions pursued by Enel X, the Enel Group company dedicated to developing innovative energy products and digital solutions.
From electric mobility to public lighting
In Italy, Enel X has created an extensive network of EV charging infrastructure that is helping to make “range anxiety” a thing of the past. The turning point in the e-Mobility Revolution was the launch of the National Plan that aims to install 14,000 charging columns (28,000 charging points) by 2022 across the national territory.
In order to encourage the large-scale adoption of electric vehicles, Enel X has launched “Intelligent charging solutions”: a series of products and services linked to EV charging. The cornerstone of the range is the JuiceBox, designed for residential or business charging and suitable for modular use: one JuiceStation can integrate up to 8 JuiceBoxes in a single infrastructure, to charge many vehicles simultaneously. The JuicePole, on the other hand, is a charging solution developed for urban contexts and public use. The continuous technological innovation and circularity, allows Enel X to recover all functioning components from end-of-life models and reuse them for maintenance. For example, around 90% of the energy employed to produce the JuicePole is generated using renewable sources.
Enel X also designs and manufactures a wide range of solutions to make public lighting more sustainable and innovative, using materials and technologies, such as LEDs, that offer greater efficiency and save energy. But these systems can also provide other functions: the JuiceLamp, for instance, is a perfect example of a multifunctional street lamp that combines new-generation public lighting with two EV charging points.
Green and circular energy for buildings and homes
When it comes to supplying energy to buildings, one particular solution offered by Enel X is residential photovoltaic – a tested, sustainable and cost-effective system to produce energy to meet families’ needs and boost energy autonomy. Photovoltaic systems reduce environmental impact by producing energy from renewable sources and improve energy efficiency, compared to energy from the grid. At the end of their life cycle, more than 90% of the steel components of the systems are collected and recycled.
This form of “green and circular” energy can also be used by public administrations and industrial clients that can take advantage of second-life panels, which after being recovered and revamped are still effective for public buildings and industrial sites.
To fully optimize their use, photovoltaic systems can be combined with energy storage systems. Enel X’s solutions enable clients to save excess energy so it can later be used when production is limited or absent: this increases the quantity of energy that is self-produced for private use and also boosts autonomy from the grid. Around 15% of the materials employed to produce energy storage systems are recycled and, at the end of their life cycle, up to 57% of their components are recyclable.
Enel X’s range of circular solutions also includes solar thermal systems, which enable the direct conversion of solar energy into heat: they make homes more autonomous in energy terms and, thanks to their efficiency, increase properties’ value and energy class. Using solar energy for hot water and heating also leads to savings on the energy bill and reduced CO2 emissions. Around 31% of the materials used to manufacture these systems derive from recycled material, and over 90% of glass, polyurethane and steel components are collected and recycled.
Another option to boost energy efficiency is a condensation boiler, which complies with various circular economy principles. Condensation boilers recover heat from exhaust gases, reducing energy consumption and environmental impact thanks to condensation technology. At the end of their life cycles, more than 85% of their steel components are collected and recycled.
Furthermore, Enel X provides added-value energy services such as Demand Response, which is shaped by two principles of the circular economy: sustainable inputs, because it mitigates the unpredictability and intermittence of renewable sources, increasing their integration and making the grid more reliable and flexible; and the principle of sharing. Indeed, customers are able to share their capacity for energy reserves, making it available to the grid and obtaining the maximum financial return.
The Circular Economy Report
Finally, Enel X has created a tool for companies and public administrations to measure and improve their circularity levels. The Circular Economy Report performs a 360° evaluation of circularity based on a number of parameters, from consumption and renewable sources to procurement policies and waste management, assigning a score from 1 to 100 based on the results. The report is structured into two parts: a Corporate Circular Economy assessment and a Site Energy Circular Economy assessment. The first is a qualitative analysis that assesses the current level of circularity of a company across the length of its value chain; the second is a detailed quantitative analysis applied to specific production sites that measures the current level of energy efficiency and the incidence of renewable sources on energy consumption, assigning an average score that constitutes the initial Site Energy Circular Economy Score. Based on these results, the Circular Economy Boosting Program suggests a combination of innovative solutions intended to boost circularity. Completing this process offers several benefits: greater energy efficiency, lower costs, and an improved perception from the market and society – now increasingly sensitive to organizations’ commitment to sustainability and to the circular economy.