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What is Open Energy?
Open Energy is an ambitious project to modernise access to energy data. This project intends to break down this barrier by creating an Open Energy Standard and Governance Platform that will make it easier to share and access data about energy supply and demand, so the UK can drive towards decarbonisation.
What is the MEDA competition?
Open Energy is Icebreaker One’s competitive solution to the Modernising Energy Data Access (MEDA) initiative launched by a cross-section of government departments (BEIS, Innovate UK and Ofgem) in 2019. This is a £103m project that aims to revolutionise the way data is shared across the diverse energy sector in the UK.
The Open Energy project is one of two finalists in competition with Siemens to secure substantial investment for the project in 2021.
What is your vision?
Our long term vision is to modernise access to the energy data across industry and address decarbonisation and the climate crisis via economic innovation. Roll out of the Open Energy project and principles will enable actors in the energy industry to interact better with each other, allowing governments, investors, businesses and consumers to make better decisions about decarbonisation activities.
Who is working on this project?
For Phase 2 of the MEDA competition, Open Energy is focusing on high-level stakeholder engagement. The team has convened a group of 60+ experts from the energy sector and beyond to collaboratively tackle the MEDA challenges. The experts make up four different Advisory Groups that each focus on a different area of the energy sector: Industry and Providers, Regulators and Legal, Policy and Consumers and Market Facing Organisations.
How can I get involved?
If you are in industry, academia, government, technology or on the consumer side of the energy sector, and want to be involved in building the energy data ecosystem, we want to hear from you!
From October through to November we will be publicly discussing the findings and insights gathered from the four advisory groups through events, webinars and content. You can sign up for free for the next event taking place as part of London Climate Action Week. Details will be released shortly.
What did you do during Phase 1?
MEDA Phase 1 was primarily a research phase. We spoke to over 200 individuals, via webinars and 1-2-1 interviews, to find out what modernising the energy data system meant to them.
Our research found that the energy data ecosystem is a detailed web of information that is only going to increase in complexity as the system becomes digitalised and data-driven. Interviewees from Phase 1 expressed the need for a clear roadmap to transition from a fragmented data landscape to a robust, decentralised, federated data infrastructure. They also believe that “there can be no single platform for all data and use-cases” and “there will be significant barriers to adoption around the centralisation of commercial data”.
Find out more about the background to this work.
What are your planned outputs from Phase 2?
A set of Advisory Groups made up of over 60 industry and sector experts are building a revolutionary way of opening up access to shared data that works for the whole energy industry. The Advisory Groups are guiding the development of the Open Energy Standard and Governance Platform prototypes. This includes discussing the standards, guidelines and specifications needed, as well as understanding the policy and regulatory requirements that will enable the energy industry to better find, access and share data.
The team is also developing a prototype to demonstrate the Governance Platform technology needed to share data securely while making it easily searchable and usable.
At the end of Phase 2 the Open Energy team will be bidding for the next stage of MEDA funding to role out and develop the standards and test the governance platform across the industry.
How are you engaging with the energy sector?
We are currently delivering a three-month programme of deep engagement with stakeholders across the energy sector, which is due to be completed in November 2020.
Experts from across the energy sector make up the four Advisory Groups, who act as our primary consultants and advisors on creating the Open Energy standard and the Open Energy Governance Platform.
We believe that industry engagement is critical to success, which is why we have taken this collaborative approach. Understanding and answering the user’s needs is what makes our approach different
How is the work of the Advisory Groups being joined up?
The overall purpose of the Advisory Groups is to work on and develop the Open Energy Standard, and provide feedback and advice on other elements of the energy data infrastructure being developed as part of the project.
Each Advisory Group has two Co-Chairs – one from the Icebreaker One/Open Climate Fix/Passiv Systems consortium, and one specialist from industry. The Co-Chairs meet on a regular basis to talk about developments and updates. Over the three month period, all members of the Advisory Group are meeting three times to discuss findings, challenges and next steps.
Why do you believe governance is the most important issue in enabling data sharing?
Because this is what we have heard from the energy sector. In Phase 1, we engaged 200+ stakeholders from across the energy sector who all articulated a need for an open standards-based approach to facilitate the sharing of data within the industry.
We recognise that the users needs are diverse and encompass millions of datasets from consumers, providers and regulators. Our research in Phase 1 highlighted the risks to implementation unless governance is addressed as well as an overwhelming objection to a ‘single data platform’.
Our recommendation is to create a critical piece of innovation (the Open Energy Governance Platform) which will enable a decentralised approach, in which data and metadata is distributed, always up-to-date, and managed real time on data custodians’ servers.
This platform will provide the common rules, controls and processes needed for access, discovery, security, commercial applications, privacy and regulatory compliance. This proven approach, novel to energy, will form the Common Data Architecture enabling an energy data ecosystem.
What is the use case you are currently working on?
A single use-case about shared energy data to improve carbon contribution to the environment from social housing is being worked on by all the Advisory Groups.
We welcome feedback on the use-case.