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Energy sector ‘requires deep digitalisation’

A taskforce has been launched to accelerate the digitalisation of the energy system.

The Energy Digitalisation Taskforce (EDiT) was officially launched today (12 May) by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in partnership with Ofgem and Innovate UK.

EDiT, which will run until December, is the successor to the Energy Data Taskforce and will once again be chaired by Laura Sandys.

The taskforce will have two key areas of focus – energy system destination, and governance. The former will focus on understanding the future digitalisation needs and drawing on best practice from other industries and countries to recommend technical options and a delivery roadmap. The latter will consider the new governance issues that deep digitalisation presents and look to other industries and countries to identify solutions for emerging monopolies and cross regulator risks.

Sandys said: “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.”