Research by the Offshore Energy Digital Strategy Group (OEDSG) has found a “lag” in data maturity within the renewable sector.
With the support of Deloitte, the 2023 Offshore Energy Digital & Data Maturity Survey reported on how oil, gas and renewable companies are applying data and digital technologies to decarbonise the UK energy system and achieve net zero targets.
Collating feedback from over 30 renewable, oil and gas operator companies, the report identified a “lag” in data maturity, suggesting that companies need to focus on developing data strategies.
The report also highlighted a lack of access to digital and data skills as a “key risk” to the delivery of data and digital strategies.
Particular challenges laid around upskilling existing workforce and recruiting news employees into key roles across sectors.
These findings echo a previous report by Energy Systems Catapult which found that 40% of businesses within the energy sector had difficulties hiring data scientists with the appropriate skills.
Increasing collaboration and coordination could be a significant factor in enabling organisations to “unlock the full potential of data and digital technologies,” which in turn will play a key role in accelerating the switch to cleaner energy production, the report continued.
Evidence of progress in this matter was shown through organisations adopting data technologies such as cloud platforms and data visualisation tools that enable greater levels of collaboration.
Overall, the report found an 8% improvement across key metrics relating to strategy, leadership, training and capabilities across all sectors.
In light of the survey, the OEDSG recommended the following actions to help drive forward the energy transition:
- Increase efforts to improve digital maturity
- Strengthen collaboration between parties to drive cross-industry digitalisation
- Develop a culture which allows leaders to encourage stay to adopt data-driven practises and ensure staff are equipped with necessary skills and knowledge
Members of the OEDSG include: Offshore Energies UK (OEUK); Opportunity North East (ONE); Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC); Technology Leadership Board (TLB); North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA); The Crown Estate; and Crown Estate Scotland.
“The role of digital and data technologies in achieving the transition to net zero cannot be overstated. They provide essential tools for monitoring, optimising, and managing energy systems, enabling more efficient resource utilisation and facilitating the integration of renewable energy sources,” said Karen O’Hanlon, director digital tech at Opportunity North East.
“However, the success of these technologies relies heavily on having access to technical talent. Upskilling the workforce and attracting new tech talent to the sector are priorities for ONE and our partners in the North East of Scotland.”
Carlo Procaccini, Technology Leadership Board co-chair, added: “I am pleased with the publication of this important report looking at data and digital maturity across the offshore energy sectors.
“Data are crucial for the optimal use of the UKCS to provide energy security and accelerate the energy transition. The report highlights industry progress with data access and digital technologies to extract value from the data, but highlights the urgent need for greater investment in data management and digital skills development. Regulators and industry bodies have an important role in catalysing this.”