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.
Big data, open or shared data, data science and AI offer significant opportunities within the energy sector. However, cyber security, data privacy and data protection are concurrent challenges that must be mitigated.
Energy Systems Catapult has a Digital and Data Systems asset working to help innovators access the data required to operate effectively and unlock new value in the sector, to enable a more intelligent, secure, interconnected, cost-effective, and consumer-centric system.
The Challenge and Opportunity
Transforming the UK energy system to be clean, secure and affordable to support the Government Clean Growth Strategy requires innovative, customer and service-centric models and technologies.
Our future energy system will require data to be gathered, stored, analysed, interpreted and disseminated in new ways. Energy data is rich in information that could dramatically impact and accelerate the transformation of our whole energy system.
There are many academic and research activities identifying the importance of and need for a more coherent understanding of current and future data in the energy sector including Laura Sandys’ “Re-Shaping Regulation” and the IET’s “Overview of Britain’s Changing Energy Sector” report.
Yet despite the growing influence of digitalisation, no central map or ‘guide’ currently exists to help innovators understand where this data is, so they can exploit these benefits or mitigate any potential risks. Furthermore, because most innovators don’t currently understand the energy sector data landscape, there is a very real risk that industry will not be able to fully exploit the potential benefits of sharing data.
The Digital and Data Systems team have carried out an Energy Data Review is to establish a baseline reference data landscape for the GB energy sector – electricity and gas – which is supported by critical insights into the opportunities and challenges.
The Digital and Data Systems team have created a data model and catalogue that provides a “whole-system snapshot”, giving innovators a guide to better understand the data landscape.
This guide will enable them to develop new data-driven products and services that exploit the power of data to support the overarching goal of the energy system transformation.
Innovators can use these model and catalogue to inform, validate and refine business models that support the transformation to a future digital energy system.
In addition the Government’s Energy Data Taskforce – run by the Catapult and chaired by Laura Sandys – and was set up to advise government, Ofgem and industry to find out how to unlock value from data in the energy system. The Taskforce aims to create greater competition, drive innovation in new products, services and business models, and ultimately produce a more efficient, cost-effective system which works for everyone.