Digital and Data: Energy Innovation

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 offers a range of Digital and Data services, assets and expertise, such as data science, algorithms and artificial intelligence, alongside a Living Lab made up of real-world homes. Our aim is to help innovators develop new products, services and business models and trial them directly with consumers.

Energy Digitalisation: 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 is a broad but not consistently defined or understood concept, encompassing the use of data science/analytics and other digital technologies. It can enable a mode of operation which is data driven, intelligent, secure, inter-connected, automated, cost-effective, and consumer/service centric.

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 management, 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.

Our Capabilities in Digital, Data and Technology

Our Digital and Data team offers capabilities in:

  • Data Science – using cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, our data scientists enable real-time decision-making and complex data analytics from trials in our Living Lab. They also help innovators (1) uncover hidden value from their own data, (2) gain evidence and insights by exploring our existing datasets, or (3) learn which data to collect for maximum value and how to design the telemetry or specify systems to ensure quality.
  • Digital & Data Systems – exploring how digital technologies and data can support the new functions and business models required for transition to a low-carbon energy system. Offering whole system expertise to help industry, government and innovators understand and balance the complex risks associated with data privacy, data protection and cyber security.

Our Digital and Data Energy Assets

Our Digital and Data team utilises:

  • Living Lab – a safe and affordable, real-world test environment for trialing new energy products, services and business models, with the aim of de-risking and scaling innovations for market. With over 250 digitally connected smart-homes, the Living Lab is truly open, interoperable and scalable – after undergoing significant upgrades over six-months in 2020 – including a new digital integration platform.
  • Energy Knowledge eXchange – delivered in collaboration with stakeholders across the energy industry and academic research providers, EKX allows energy SMEs to gain free access to valuable information and acts as a platform for innovators to find support networks, collaborate, explore sources of funding and build productive partnerships.

Our Approach: Digital Transformation of the Energy System

Energy System Catapult is growing a Digital and Data capability to directly inform business, academia and government on the evolving digitalisation of the energy sector, to support and enable the transition to a clean low carbon energy system.

Our Digital and Data team offers expertise for a range of projects, including:

  • Energy Data Taskforce – created by Government, Ofgem and industry to advise on how to unlock value from data within the energy system to deliver greater competition, drive innovation in new products, services and business models, and ultimately produce a more efficient, cost-effective and that works for consumers.
  • Digital Energy Fitness Assessment – the Catapult is developing a comprehensive assessment framework for measuring the digital readiness of energy sector businesses – akin to technology readiness levels. Two pilots were carried out with organisations during the first half of 2020. The assessment measures digital readiness in five categories:
    • Digital Infrastructure
    • Technology
    • Operations
    • Insight & Value-Add
    • Culture

Through our capabilities and assets we have helped innovators develop digital energy services across the UK.

Discover the rest of our energy capabilities and assets to find out how we’re helping the UK achieve its clean growth ambitions.