A new Energy Digitalisation Taskforce (EDiT) that will focus on modernising the energy system to unlock flexibility and drive clean growth towards net zero emissions by 2050 has been launched.
EDiT will consider the market design, digital architecture and governance of a modern digitalised energy system and follows the Energy Data Taskforce which initiated a wave of energy data activity across government, the regulator and industry.
It will deliver a set of actionable recommendations that sit at the intersection between policy, regulation and innovation, to challenge the status quo and deliver the energy system transformation that is needed to reach net zero.
Some of the key objectives of the Taskforce include refocusing the energy sector on the challenge and opportunities of digitalisation “as a core component of transformation, not just an enabler, accelerating digitalisation of the energy system that enables emerging net zero compatible business models, markets and industry structures and identifying digitalisation gaps that require innovation support.
Business, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Digitalisation is vital to reaching the UK’s ambitious world-leading climate change target. 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.
“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. 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.”
The Taskforce – launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in partnership with Ofgem and Innovate UK – is being run by Energy Systems Catapult and chaired by Laura Sandys.
Ms Sandys added: “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. 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.
“As energy assets become increasingly distributed, including behind the meter, traditional consumers will become an active part of the energy system as their assets automatically respond to system signals helping to regulate the system. Some consumers will want reward for their actions and digital systems will need to ensure their control, security and privacy wishes are respected.
“New business models and industry structures need to be enabled that unlock value and ensure the stability of the system. Digitalisation itself will create new roles and responsibilities which will need to be matched with regulatory frameworks and governance structures which mitigate emerging risks such as digital monopolies and impact on vulnerable customers.”