Major projects funded through the through the Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme are demonstrating that data and digital solutions are vital components needed to deliver new markets and business models in our local energy systems.
Utilising data enables us to intelligently manage thousands of distributed energy assets such as electric vehicles, new heating systems, and batteries.
New data products and services will better engage people in their energy usage, helping them to make informed personal decisions.
Data applications will help with the complex coordination of infrastructure upgrades through the energy transition. Integrated approaches across energy, transport, telecoms, water and other sectors are becoming increasingly important. The interactions and optimisation of infrastructure types across sectors will be vital to achieve deep decarbonisation, outstanding user experiences, and an efficient transition to a net zero society that works for people from all backgrounds.
To help accelerate digitalisation we are launching a £2 million SBRI funding competition called Modernising Energy Data Applications (MEDapps), opening October 2020.
The innovations delivered through MEDapps will build upon the UK's outstanding capabilities in smart energy and create business opportunities that can be exported around the world.
Our journey so far to modernise energy data innovation
Since the recommendations of the Energy Data Taskforce we have been co-delivering the Modernising Energy Data programme with BEIS, Ofgem as well as industry partners such as the Energy Networks Association and Energy Systems Catapult.
Last year we launched a funding competition called Modernising Energy Data Access. These projects are in the second of three phases to develop a common data architecture for the UK energy system which will enable disparate data sets to be more easily accessible, understandable, and interoperable.
This will help innovators to harness the power of energy data. But we have also wanted to better communicate the challenges and problems that people are facing in relation to energy usage across the UK. By improving the visibility of these problems, we can make it easier for data experts to identify issues and start quickly developing solutions. Regen has delivered the Local Energy Data Innovation project for UKRI to achieve just that.
The project has undertaken user research to identify the priority issues in our local energy systems and to group these issues into themes. These have been excellently communicated in an interactive, online Local Energy Data Innovation publication.
So…firstly we supported companies to develop a data architecture to improve access to energy data.
Secondly, we have undertaken user research and published real local energy system user needs, which could be addressed by data solution innovations.
The next step is to begin developing ground breaking data solutions for the energy sector through our latest funding competition MEDapps.
What do we want to see from the MEDApps projects?
The successful projects will have to…
- Combine energy data with data from other sectors and harness state-of-the-art techniques from across computer science, statistical mathematics, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence
- Implement best practice user-centred design principles, agile delivery methodologies, innovative user research methods, and excellent user experience (UX) design. Projects should produce a solution that delivers an exceptional service to its users
- Consider and demonstrate how they will champion diversity throughout the project. It is important that we develop technologies that work for all people in society and succeed in transforming our energy usage in an equitable and just way
These projects must also develop solutions to real-world problems, they must address genuine user needs, as well as demonstrate the commercial viability and route to market for technologies.
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