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Project name:

Circular solutions for a long asset lifecycle

Status: Idea
Creation date: 03-11-2021

Project objectives:


Enel Brasil seeks to identify solutions for recovery and reuse (second life of technology, waste conversion business models), in a circular economy approach, equipment and components removed from use due to extraordinary maintenance, end-of-life cycle or technological upgrade. The focus will be, in particular, on solar technology and measurement infrastructure.


This challenge contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) transforming our world:

  • ODS 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • ODS 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • ODS 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • ODS 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • ODS 13: Action against Global Climate Change
  • ODS 17: Partnerships and Means of Implementation


Enel is the first operator in Brazil in the renewable energy and energy distribution sectors, with almost 18 million customers.

OR Innovation Hub in Rio de Janeiro it approaches the centers of innovation, fostering collaboration with the most promising startups and actors of the Brazilian ecosystem: its positioning in technologies of "digital sustainability" truly aims to impact the country's challenges in sustainable development goals.


A restorative and regenerative economy in principle that rethink the use of natural resources and materials more efficiently. Respecting the physical limits of the planet is critical to achieving sustainable development and creating new business opportunities in the coming years. In this context, circular economy emerges as an alternative economic model in relation to the linear one, historically based on the logic of "extract-produce-consume-discard". Based on the reduction of waste generation and pollution since the beginning of the asset value chain, the maintenance of materials in use at their highest level of value and utility for as long as possible, in the regeneration of natural systems and the Circular Economy strategy, which includes increased life, reuse, repair and recycling as main motivators.


With regard to Enel-related activities, the Circular Economy is considered a key element of its sustainability strategy. New circular businesses will be created in the coming years and for opportunities to be effectively taken advantage of, a collaborative environment throughout the company's value chain is needed, capable of being resilient and developing solutions to new challenges, also considering the creation of shared value with positive environmental and social impacts.


Currently, due to technological developments and digital transformation, the replacement of strategic assets becomes an increasingly frequent need in the different operations of the company, in the different branches of business. An important example is the needs of replacing equipment (or parts of it) from our plants solar power generation, such as photovoltaic panels, whose integrity is necessary to ensure the efficiency and resilience needed in an energy transition scenario in the coming years. From a circular logic, it is necessary to identify solutions for the recovery of materials that are not only environmentally sustainable, but that can create new and shared value with what is taken from the field. Another example is the replacement of the measurement infrastructure with new generation smart meters. Also in this case it is important to identify the best solutions for the recovery and reuse of materials.


Identify solutions for the valorization and revaluation, under circular economy, of equipment and components removed from use by extraordinary maintenance, end of life cycle or technological update (second life of technology, business models for waste conversion). In addition, solutions to the "design-circularity" approach will be evaluated for the introduction of new design policies for our infrastructure/plants that will help the implementation of a "second life cycle". The focus of this challenge is, in particular, on the solar technology and measurement infrastructure.


The meters are composed of aluminum, iron, glass, iron alloy, brass alloy and copper coil. Solar panels, in turn, can be decomposed mainly in tempered glass; aluminum; ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and silicon. There are also other compounds on a smaller scale, made of alumina, manganese, phosphorus, boron, silicon nitride, silver, polyphenylene oxide (PPO), tin, copper, polyethylene (PE), polycarbonate (PC) and polyvinylide fluoride (PVDF).



The proposed solution will be evaluated from a technical, industrial (in terms of business continuity and industrial implementation of the solution) and regulatory; environmental indicators should be included in the proposal. Other sustainability issues, such as social inclusion, collaborative eco-design, development of local ecosystems, philanthropy, etc., will be strongly considered as an advantage.


The solutions presented must meet the following requirements:

Comply with Brazilian environmental protection policies and laws;

Follow best environmental and sustainable practices around the world;

Disaggregate the component(s) of interest to the original equipment and recover it in a sustainable, safe and ecological manner;

Explicitly present the use or subsequent application of the component(s) of interest and briefly describe the recycling or reuse process;

Bring technical innovation or business model;

TRL ≥ 6;

Promote reduction of time, cost or number of people involved compared to other market alternatives;

To be economically viable, being strongly desirable a business model in which Enel, as owner of the equipment, is part of the future revenue to be obtained with the solution.



The submitted proposal shall consist of a detailed technical description in writing based on the requirements of the solution, including:

Context analysis and possible impact of solutions on the country's innovation ecosystem;

Ideas, concepts and preliminary details of solutions to be evaluated with the lines of business involved in Enel Brasil;

Preliminary evaluation of the solution of value creation and initial evaluation of the impact at the economic, environmental and social level (qualitative and if possible quantitative, according to the definition of scenarios and first hypotheses and assumptions considered);

Preliminary study on local stakeholders engagement activities;

Cost estimate of the proposed solution;

Installed capacity to run the proposed solution.

Environmental indicators should be included in the proposal [Indicators suggested but not limited to: Cost reduction resulting from minimisation, reuse and recycling of waste or emissions (over a period of time); ROI in environmental investments; avoided CO2 expectation; Reduction of material disposal (ton)].

Contact / source: Circular solutions for a long life cycle of | Open Innovability (