BriefingReports

The UK energy data ecosystem

As part of our Open Energy project, working with Open Climate Fix and PassivSystems, we spoke with hundreds of stakeholders across the UK’s energy sector. 

A vast and complicated industry, we researched almost 9,000 entities including:

  • governance and regulatory entities
  • agencies, consortiums and research institutions
  • assets that generate, produce or supply energy to the country 
  • manufacturers, equipment and infrastructure providers
  • energy transporters, transmitters, operators and distributors
  • energy suppliers
  • service providers including brokers, consultants, technology, and other services

We included energy investors and the investment community given their role as facilitators of energy connectivity, especially with regards to the transition to renewable energy and our legal requirements to meet emission targets. 

Our map of this ecosystem shows its complexity and how large energy generating assets (e.g. coal or nuclear plants) centrally transmit and distribute energy to reach the end consumer. 

A number of monopolies are involved, such as the transmission (electricity & gas) and distribution systems (DNOs for electricity & DNs for gas). Ofgem along with other regulatory bodies provide governance to ensure price controls in the wholesale market so that energy suppliers can utilize the transmission and distribution networks fairly, and offer a competitive marketplace for consumers to purchase their energy.

As a result, the ecosystem contains vast amounts of data that are currently fragmented and often siloed.

We believe that harnessing this data through a robust, decentralised and federated data infrastructure is key to modernising the energy system in the UK and attaining our targets for a carbon-net-zero future—we call for the development of an Open Energy standard to help address this.

If you would like to collaborate on developing this work further, please get in touch with michelle.brook@icebreakerone.org

Acronyms unbundled

  • DNO = District Network Operators (Also sometimes District Systems Operator DSO)
  • ESO = Electricity System Operator
  • NGESO = National Grid Electricity System Operator
  • NGET = National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc
  • TO/TNO/TSO = Transmission Operators (Network and Systems)