How can the broader energy sector - from communities, local authorities, and transport providers through to energy suppliers and producers - make better use of open data to help reduce carbon emissions and support a shift towards net-zero?
That is the question at the heart of our #PoweredUp event series.
While local governments and other public institutions have been encouraged to embrace open data for the last decade, the last couple of years have seen significant data related changes across the energy sector.
In 2019 the Energy Data Taskforce recommended that Energy System Data should be considered 'Presumed Open'. Their report stated that starting from a point of presuming energy data is open, and then reducing data openness where openness may breach privacy, commercial sensitivity or national security concerns would help drive innovation and a process of continuous improvement across the sector.
Just a year later, Ofgem, along with BEIS and Innovate UK, launched the Modernising Energy Data Access competition, which our friends at Icebreaker One subsequently won with their Open Energy proposal. Open Energy aims to make it easier for energy data to be discovered and, even where it can't be made open, made more easily shared between identified organisations and individuals.
As of June 2021, Ofgem are consulting on Data Best Practice guidance that includes a requirement for energy suppliers to treat all data assets, associated metadata and software scripts as presumed open.
These changes are beginning to make energy sector data more easily available, findable and usable. Between this, and a wider societal and political push for the UK to reach net-zero, many energy suppliers are beginning to actively reach out to stakeholders and communities to understand their needs and wants, and to help suppliers understand what data to prioritise releasing.
At ODI Leeds, we have already been supporting energy sponsors and clients to make their data more openly available. For the last three years we have helped DNOs including Northern Powergrid and UK Power Networks visualise their Distributed Future Energy Scenarios, and through this better understand the possible needs and variations in the network over the next decade. We are also supporting UKPN to develop and implement tools and processes to develop the network operators open data offering, and help them drive forwards their 2021 digitalisation plan.
At ODI Leeds, we wanted to make more of this momentum. By bringing together our community to explore common data needs, raise awareness of work being done by others, and develop interventions and projects, we believe we can help accelerate a drive towards net-zero. Thus the idea for PoweredUp was born.
How can I join in?
We will be running PoweredUp for the remainder of 2021; and hopefully beyond. Every 6 weeks we will be inviting our clients, sponsors and wider community to join us in exploring a specific topic.
The next session will be on the 21st July, where we will be exploring the data that local and combined authorities would benefit from, when looking to retrofit housing stock.