Taskforce releases recommendations for modernising UK energy system

The Energy Data Taskforce, commissioned by the government, Ofgem, and Innovate UK, has set out five key recommendations to help modernise the UK energy system and drive it towards the government’s Net Zero 2050 obligations using data and digital strategy.

The Taskforce’s new report: ‘A Strategy for a Modern Digitalised Energy System’, says that progress in improving the energy system is being hindered by often poor quality, inaccurate, or missing data, while valuable data is often restricted or hard to find. 

A skills gap and a culture of risk aversion were also highlighted as obstacles to a more digitalised, data-driven system by the Taskforce.

To combat the challenges, the report made five recommendations:
  • Digitalisation of the energy system – government and Ofgem should use existing legislative and regulatory measures to direct the sector to adopt the principle of digitalisation of the energy system in consumers’ interest.
  • Maximising the value of data – government and Ofgem should direct the sector to adopt the principle that energy system data should be presumed open, supported by requirements that data is ‘discoverable, searchable, understandable’, with common ‘structures, interfaces and standards’ and is ‘secure and resilient’.
  • Visibility of data – a data catalogue should be established to provide visibility through standardised metadata of energy system datasets across government, the regulator and industry.
  • Coordination of asset registration – an Asset Registration Strategy should be established in order to increase registration compliance, improve the reliability of data and improve the efficiency of data collection.
  • Visibility of infrastructure and assets – a unified Digital System Map of the energy system should be established to increase visibility of infrastructure and assets, enable optimisation of investment and inform the creation of new markets.
Laura Sandys FEI, Energy Data Taskforce Chair, said: ‘Data and digitalisation, while not the sole enablers of energy system transformation, are essential to optimising the value of assets and infrastructure, driving innovative services, better understanding risks, increasing system resilience, and driving us towards Net Zero carbon and decentralisation at best value to consumers.’

Philip New, Energy Systems Catapult Chief Executive, added: ‘We have been very encouraged by the support from the sector in developing these recommendations.  There is strong ambition and appetite from key organisations to embrace data and digitalisation strategies and we hope that the recommendations will help them accelerate decarbonisation and decentralisation to provide best value for consumers.’

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