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BEIS launches new Digitalisation Taskforce to follow on from ‘pioneering’ Energy Data Taskforce

Image: Energy Systems Catapult.

Image: Energy Systems Catapult.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), together with Ofgem and Innovate UK, has launched a new Energy Digitalisation Taskforce (EDiT) .

It follows on from the Energy Data Taskforce, and will consider market design, digital architecture and governance of modern digitalised energy systems. Like its predecessor, EDiT will be run by the Energy Systems Catapult and be chaired by Laura Sandys.

Digitalisation is “vital to reaching the UK’s ambitious world-leading climate change target” said minister of state for business, energy and clean growth, Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

“We need a smart and flexible energy system to harness energy from low carbon sources such as the sun and wind, to power our homes, businesses and vehicles. This means technologies – from solar panels and electric vehicles, to heat pumps and batteries – will need to be smarter, sharing information with one another.”

This will become increasingly important as more low carbon technologies are rolled out, she continued, pointing to the growth of EVs with sales surging 566.1% year-on-year in April for example, and the government’s target of 600,000 heat pump installations a year by 2028.

As such, flexibility needs to be built into the system through digitalisation in order to allow technologies to be monitored and managed. The government will support this through a new Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan and the UK’s first Energy Digitalisation Strategy, which will be published by Ofgem this spring.

“The launch of the Energy Digitalisation Taskforce follows on from the pioneering Energy Data Taskforce which shone a light on the changes we need and provided the right emphasis and drive for the digitalisation of our energy system to begin,” added Trevelyan.

“We know digitalisation holds the key to our transition to a decarbonised and decentralised energy system, and we look forward to the recommendations from the Taskforce.”

These recommendations will focus on two areas; Energy System Destination and Governance. These will be split into five objectives; refocusing the energy sector on the challenges and opportunities of digitalisation as a component of the transition not just an enabler, accelerating digitalisation, developing digital architectures and a roadmap, identifying digitalisation gaps and identifying governance risks that digitalisation raises and present frameworks to mitigate this.

“Moving from an energy system based on a few key actors to millions of connected generation, storage and consumption assets that are dynamically importing or exporting energy cannot be served by an analogue system and requires deep digitalisation,” said Sandys.

“Digitalisation of the energy system is essential to deliver a stable, secure, and cost-efficient system that can unlock value in the new decarbonised, decentralised energy world we are building.”

The Energy Systems Catapult will assemble a group of strategic advisors for EDiT, made up of leaders from other sectors. Already, five innovative industries have been tentatively identified; telecommunications, logistics, change management, internet (governance) and manufacturing.

It will begin by evaluating recommendations made by its predecessor, learning from previous initiatives before moving to develop recommendations for Energy System Destination and Governance. At the Taskforce’s conclusion it will produce a final report detailing all findings.

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