Digital and Data

Introduction

Innovation in digitalisation and data science is crucial to transforming the UK energy system to meet carbon reduction targets and achieve our clean growth ambitions.

Energy Systems Catapult offers a range of Digital and Data assets and expertise, such as data science, algorithms and artificial intelligence, alongside a Living Lab made up of real-world homes. Our aim is to help innovators develop new products, services and business models and trial them directly with consumers.

The Challenge and Opportunity

Transforming the UK energy system to be clean, secure and affordable, will be driven as much by the growing market for digitalisation and data, as by legislated carbon reduction targets.

Digitalisation is a broad but not consistently defined or understood concept, encompassing the use of data science/analytics and other digital technologies. It can enable a mode of operation which is data driven, intelligent, secure, inter-connected, automated, cost-effective, and consumer/service centric.

Many functions in the future energy system will require many types of data from many different sources to be gathered, combined, analysed, and shared in new ways. Big data, open/shared data, data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI), offer transformational opportunities to harness and exploit this data. However, Cyber Security, Data Privacy and Data Protection are concurrent challenges that must be mitigated.

Businesses are increasingly struggling with how to organise, store and extract value from big data, which is where data science and machine learning come in. These knowledge disciplines can help to not only extract valuable insights from big data that are crucial to cutting operational costs, optimising investments and reducing risks in the energy industry, but also helping develop smart energy systems that can help the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.

Our Assets

Our Digital and Data team offers a number of assets:

  • Home Energy Services Gateway – a flexible cloud-based digital platform connected to an array of in-home IoT sensors/actuators; powered by advanced data analytics and algorithms; and a mobile app that supports room-by-room heating control. HESG is an open, technology agnostic platform that offers interoperability between existing and new device manufactures, and energy service providers.
  • Living Lab – a unique innovation testbed energy providers and product manufacturers to test new products, services and business models in 100 real-world consumer homes in Bridgend, Manchester, Newcastle and West Midlands, all connected and controlled by the HESG platform. Drawing on over four million data points per home per day – Living Lab delivers proof of concept tests to understand customer expectations and real-world behaviours.
  • Data Science – using cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to process HESG data for real-time decision-making and complex data analytics.
  • Digital & Data Systems – exploring how digital technologies and data can support the new functions and business models required for transition to a low-carbon energy system. Offering Whole System expertise to help industry, government and innovators understand and balance the complex risks associated with data privacy, data protection and cyber security.
  • Energy Knowledge eXchange – delivered in collaboration with stakeholders across the energy industry and academic research providers, EKX allows energy SMEs to gain free access to valuable information and acts as a platform for innovators to find support networks, collaborate, explore sources of funding and build productive partnerships.

Our Approach

Energy System Catapult is growing a Digital and Data capability to directly inform business, academia and government on the evolving digitalisation of the energy sector, to support and enable the transition to a clean low carbon energy system.

Our Digital and Data team offers a range of expertise and specialisms, for example:

  • The Energy Data Taskforce, created by Government, Ofgem and industry to advise on how to unlock value from data within the energy system to deliver greater competition, drive innovation in new products, services and business models, and ultimately produce a more efficient, cost-effective and that works for consumers.
  • Working alongside the Consumer Insight team to provide insight and evidence to innovators testing products, services, and business models. For example, analysing data on dynamic heating system warm-up times (ie. based on home thermal dynamics, weather predictions and cost predictions) combined with data on how people use heat in different rooms at different times of the day, to create personalised ‘comfort profiles’ that are specifically tailored to optimise efficiency and deliver better consumer control over comfort and cost.