How can we harness the power of data to transform the energy system?

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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.

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 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.

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.

In response, the Catapult has created a data model and catalogue that provides a “whole-system snapshot”, allowing innovators 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.

At its heart, the Energy Data Review project is aimed directly at supporting innovators and is well aligned with our overall Catapult strategy.  It is an Innovate UK funded pipeline project and has been delivered alongside Baringa Partners and Delta-ee.

Simon Pearson, Business Leader for Digital at the Catapult said: “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. This transformation needs data to operate effectively and unlock new value in the sector, and will enable a more intelligent, secure, interconnected, cost-effective, and consumer-centric system.

“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.

“The main aim of the 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. In combination, innovators can use these to inform, validate and refine business models that support the transformation to a future digital energy system.”

This project supports the Catapult’s leading role in the Energy Data Taskforce, which was set up to advise government, Ofgem and industry to find out how to unlock value from data in the energy system.

The Taskforce, which is run by the Catapult and chaired by Laura Sandys, 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.

To read the summary and/or full Energy Data Review report, click here.

Published: 30 November 2018