Enel, the Emilia Romagna regional administration and Tecnopolo Bologna CNR, working together for the energy transition

Published on Friday, 7 October 2022

A joint commitment to an increasingly efficient use of energy, using resources even more rationally, developing and valuing renewable sources, reducing polluting emissions, digitalizing grids, protecting the environment and natural resources for a greener, more sustainable future.

These are the goals of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Enel Italia and the Emilia-Romagna regional administration.

The agreement was signed today by the Regional Assessor for Economic Development and the Green Economy, Vincenzo Colla, and Enel’s Head of Country Italy, Nicola Lanzetta.

This agreement confirms the value of a collaboration launched some years ago that has enabled the Emilia-Romagna regional administration to develop a mutually beneficial relationship based on the shared commitment to fostering a just and inclusive energy transition.

The collaboration is further strengthened by the involvement of a local example of excellence: Fondazione ICSC (“The National Research Centre for High-Performance Computing, Big Data and Quantum Computing”), which manages the National Supercomputing Center, one of five National Centers envisioned by the PNRR. An agreement has also been signed for high performance data simulation, computing and analysis activities that will be conducted at the Tecnopolo Bologna CNR.

Signing on behalf of the Foundation was its President Antonio Zoccoli, who is also President of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics. In attendance was the President of Cineca, Francesco Ubertini.

The focus of the collaboration will be the extension and upgrading of tools to define climate scenarios and the potential impacts on the energy sector, the local area and commodities markets. A further planned area of study concerns the analysis of adopting new cutting-edge materials for electricity grid components in addition to many areas focused on digital development and Smart Cities.

 “This region,” emphasized Colla, “has set a short-term goal to become an economy capable of measuring up to the big environmental challenges by investing in innovation, research and knowledge. For this reason, it has developed a Regional Energy Plan and a regulatory and planning framework capable of supporting the creation of a system that looks to the use of renewable energies, basing the socioeconomic development of the region on the Green Economy and the principles of the circular economy.”

 “Beginning with the signing of the Work and Climate Pact in 2020, in light of the new climate and energy goals set by the international community and the European Union, we decided to accelerate the ecological transition by setting the goal of decarbonizing by 2050 and reaching 100% energy from renewable sources by 2035, by identifying the priority lines of action to focus on,” concluded Colla. “This commitment is one that can no longer be postponed.”

 “The collaboration between business and institutions is essential in order to achieve our sustainability goals and reduce national and European emissions,” explained Nicola Lanzetta, Enel’s Head of Country Italy. “That’s why the agreements signed today are particularly important. Together, we are embarking on a virtuous path to enhance and spread sustainable energy solutions that will benefit local people and businesses.”

 “We’re very pleased with the interest Enel has shown and the arrival of another large corporate entity in the National Supercomputing Center,” noted Antonio Zoccoli, President of Fondazione ICSC and INFN. “It is recognition, and important confirmation, of the strategic value of this project for the country and the role it can play in enhancing synergies between the worlds of research and business, and between the public and private sectors. This collaboration with Enel further reinforces the potential and the contribution that the National Center can bring to a key sector – the energy sector – whose development is now indispensable for building a sustainable future.”


The Agreement between Enel and the regional administration

With the agreement signed today, Enel and the Regional administration intend to launch a partnership geared to assessing a number of priority areas of activity.

These range from the promotion of projects in industrial sectors that are strongly involved in the sustainable transition to the development of technologies linked to the use of green hydrogen in the “hard to abate” sectors like glass or ceramics manufacturing; from the promotion and development of energy communities in collaboration with the main public and private stakeholders to cooperation in the field of energy production through the use of renewable sources (water, wind, solar and photovoltaic resources, including within renewable energy communities).

Activities will also include: supporting measures drafted to foster the application of industrial solutions for the production, distribution and storage of energy on smart grids; the promotion of initiatives for the production of the latest generation storage systems; electric mobility, including in the transport of goods in urban areas; the promotion of projects connected to the European HORIZON initiative that involves the Emilia Romagna regional administration, the regional Hi Tech Network and regional Clusters.

Each project area identified may become the subject of a feasibility study conducted by a specific working group, including for the creation of pilot projects and specific initiatives.

The regional administration and Enel will form joint working groups for the development and monitoring of the joint projects.


The Enel-ICSC agreement

With the signing of this Agreement, Enel commits to supporting the activities of the ECSC Foundation on research projects related to high-performance data simulation, computing and analysis activities that will be conducted at the Bologna Tecnopolo CNR.

The multi-year agreement will focus mainly on the development of tools to support the assessment of impacts resulting from climate scenarios on the energy sector for the construction and validation of suitable adaptation plans to be applied to energy assets, primarily the electricity grid, but also in the hydrogeological sphere.

Another area of cooperation will focus on the electricity markets through the use of tools like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, which will be used to simulate and study the evolution of energy scenarios related to the current energy transition in greater detail.

Last but not least, there will be a dedicated in-depth study of the applications of Quantum Computing, in addition to the urban ecosystems of the future. Again, advanced simulation tools will be used to take a closer look at the best methodologies for integrating new energy technologies within smart cities.

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