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  • Writer's pictureAmpersand Partners

Radical thinking for the energy transition

Ambition, purpose, and agility are key to winning in energy transition. It’s a view shared by our friends at Enel – the world’s largest utility by customer numbers. Their radical thinking about energy transition has prompted Greenpeace to describe them as on track to being ‘the first truly green energy giant’. Chief Innovability Officer Ernesto Ciorra told us about Enel’s approach.

Go your own way

When we announced the closure of 23 big fossil fuel-based plants in Italy, we did it because they were not sustainable.

Nobody asked us to do this, not the regulators, not the NGOs. We are moving on from the traditional business model by providing frequency response and demand flexibility using batteries instead of fossil fuel plants. By disrupting parts of our business, we are conquering new markets. Enel is now the leader for demand response in the United States, the UK, and Japan.

Embed innovation

‘We structure our innovation projects starting with real business needs. We continuously ask our managers to share business needs in a digital platform called ‘I need’, as we firmly believe that sharing needs is culturally and operationally a very important activity. It allows us to identify concrete innovation projects from concrete business needs and define the success of those projects in terms of new revenues, incremental revenues, cost efficiency, safety or other non-financial metrics.

Collaborate openly

We collect the needs of more than 300 managers through the crowdsourcing platform that is open to our 67,000 employees and that is open to the crowd outside the company. We transform their needs into concrete technical or social challenges, and we share these challenges with our employees, with our communities, with our customers, and with the independent innovators.

We have a community of over 500,000 people working on our innovation from more than 100 countries. The community, called, has helped generate 5,700 ideas allowing us to implement more than 120 crowd-sourced projects.’


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