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 uses cutting-edge Data Science and machine learning algorithms to help innovators with information to design and test products, services, and business models that can be specifically tailored to deliver great customer experience and optimise efficiency and cost.
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 and data have already transformed many other industrial sectors such as telecommunications, TV & media, retail and banking.
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.
There is a growing consensus that to overcome the barriers to energy system transformation, particularly with heat, we need to put consumers at the heart of the system. The telecoms sector has used market feedback to decide what networks and how much capacity to build. This has revealed consumers are willing to pay for unlimited broadband access and mobile coverage. Similar techniques could help the energy sector decide how to transform the system.
Energy Systems Catapult uses cutting-edge Data Science and machine learning algorithms as part of our Living Lab offering. With over 100 real-world homes using extensive in-home IoT sensors/actuators connected to our cloud-based digital platform, the Home Energy Services Gateway (HESG), the Catapult data science team process over four million data points per home per day.
The advanced Data Science capability powering the Living Lab allows real-time decision-making (eg. dynamic heating system warm-up times based on house thermal dynamics, weather predictions and cost predictions) and complex data analytics to understand how people use heat in different rooms at different times of the day to create personalised ‘comfort profiles’.
These rich “insights” provide innovators with information to define and test products, services, and business models that can be specifically tailored to deliver great customer experience and optimise efficiency and cost.