Enel to focus on digitization, end-users in 2017-19

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Enel will focus on digitization and improving the quality of service for its more than 60mn end-users during 2017-19, the firm said Tuesday.

In a statement unveiling its strategic plan for the period, the Italy-based energy multinational said it forecasts total capex of 20.9bn euros (US$22.2bn) during 2017-19, with a 40:60 split between maintenance and growth capex.

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"The asset digitization plan will drive an increase in investments in networks and retail, primarily into smart meters, remote-control, and connectivity of equipment, as well as investments into digitizing customer engagement and promoting a more digitally-oriented workforce," the firm said.

At a September event in Santiago, Chile, Enel CEO Francesco Starace spoke of a paradigm shift underway in the distribution segment, which has historically consisted of a one-way flow of electricity from utilities to consumers.

But now, with the advent of self-supply renewable generation, net billing, net metering, smart grids and smart meters, consumers will play an increasingly active role in dictating the flow of electricity, necessitating updated regulations and incentives for distributors.

Enel, whose global installed renewable capacity stands at about 36GW, said it is targeting 6.7GW of additional renewable capacity during 2017-19.