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Sharing Knowledge on Managing Utilities during COVID-19

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Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy welcoming participants to the Webinar - Photo credit: Enel Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation and Enel Foundation designed and organized a technical webinar in partnership with Sustainable Energy for All to cover operational best practices during the COVID-19 emergency, considering safe workforce management, electricity distribution infrastructure resilience and local community protection.

The webinar (click here to access the on-demand) focused on the experience of Enel Group's Global Infrastructure and Networks (GI&N) Business Line, which manages operations in eight countries and oversees electricity distribution to more than 73 million Customers both in Europe and South America.

Speaking at the introduction, Ashvin Dayal, Senior Vice President of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Power Initiative and Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, commended the Enel leadership for taking the time to share learnings amidst the current crisis and for the collaboration of the Enel Foundation in promoting this knowledge sharing opportunity.

Mr. Livio Gallo, Head of GI&N at Enel and Vice-Chair of E.DSO, the European association representing electricity distribution operators, and an Enel Foundation board member, illustrated the efforts of the Enel Group which has been at the epicentre of this effort longer and in more geographies than most other peers across the world.

Also speaking at the webinar, Mrs. Viviana Vitto, the Head of Market Studies and Strategic Analysis of the GI&N Division at Enel and Mr. Guilherme Lencastre, the Head of Infrastructure and Networks Brazil, spoke about the challenges of managing the company’s operational and office workforce while ensuring business continuity in different jurisdictions.

Enel’s successful handling of the current emergency was explained by its focus on  people, empowering workers with digital tools, reinforced procedures and equipment for safe operations. Digitalization and infrastructure resilience coupled with a constant cooperation with stakeholders and consumers has also been a core focus of Enel’s operations during the pandemic. Mr. Gallo noted that the crisis has served as a stress test for Enel’s global strategy in which Futurability, grid edge transformation, innovative resilience and customer’s engagement were already placed at the center of the business.

With millions of frontline workers needed to keep systems operating - dramatically changing demand patterns and placing new stresses on the system - and a range of previously unanticipated risks and pressures to consider, utilities operating power grids all over the world need access to lessons and best practices that could be helpful in enabling them to ensure the resilience of the energy infrastructure. Almost 200 participants attended this invitation-only webinar from Asia, Africa, North and South America as well as Europe. Enel Foundation remains committed to sharing the main outcomes and results of the technical Q&A discussion, moderated by our Deputy Director João Duarte, in a document to be published on its website in the coming weeks.

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