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Energy digitalisation: what is it and how will it impact you?

12 August 2021

With technology developing at a staggering pace during the past century, the pressure to stay ahead of the curve is fiercer than ever. Now, to slow the rate of climate change, it is essential that this momentum is maintained and channelled into the future net zero landscape. Initiatives such as the UK government’s Energy Digitalisation Taskforce (EDiT) are set to play a crucial role in this effort.

The taskforce was established with the intention that the UK would further its leadership in modernisation and sustainability. To keep up with this forward-thinking idealism, we must first get to grips with energy digitalisation.

We take a look at energy digitalisation and how it will benefit the UK energy sector.

Key objectives

Whilst the benefits of future-proofing the energy sector are far-reaching, digitalisation focuses on certain key objectives. Market design, digital architecture, and governance all factor in to energy data activity collected from across government, regulators, and industry.

Redefining focus: Digitalisation provides a unique opportunity for the energy sector to refocus. The sector can now realign itself to focus on the challenges and opportunities accompanying digitalisation, as a core component of transformation.

Planning for the future: Laying out a digital architecture and roadmap for modernising the energy sector will ensure that any digitalisation is coordinated and effective. This will also mean the scheme can keep track of achieved levels of digitalisation as we move towards net zero.

Staying within regulation: Accelerating the pace of digitalisation will also fast-track the sector towards its net zero targets. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and asset management, digitalisation is revolutionising the renewable energy sector.

Thinking ahead: Governance risks are likely to arise during the digitalisation process and any issues should be identified and mitigated. It is important that, while the industry is progressing rapidly, regulatory frameworks and governance structures are developed accordingly. Digital energy governance differs from traditional energy governance and the challenges are unique. For example, the digitalisation process can lead to digital monopolies and a resulting impact on vulnerable customers.

The impact of digitalisation

As we are propelled towards the UK’s net zero targets, the energy sector must be smart and flexible. Harnessing low carbon energy from natural sources, such as the sun and wind, is just as important as driving a new era of technological change.

Energy digitalisation offers several elements that can improve the UK’s energy efficiency. These include:

  • Gathering high-resolution energy consumption data from technologies such as sensors that record light, temperature or location, in homes and businesses.
  • Analysing the data to assess how energy could be used more effectively and efficiently.
  • Using the data to make corresponding adjustments to energy consumption levels. This will allow businesses to optimise their energy and costs, for full efficiency. Raising efficiency will also lower waste, both of which will save businesses money.

The energy industry has already integrated renewable energy into the grid. Continuing to modernise the sector will allow further development and better efficiency. Now, new digital tools will promote sustainability, through actions such as tracking air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Where do we come in?

As the energy industry continues to develop, we must grow and evolve with it. To keep up with the ever-changing technology and energy legislation, it is paramount that we have a deep understanding of our consumption and the technology needed to track it.

At Smith Bellerby, we are dedicated to finding ways of growing and embracing new technology. Our wide range of services are tailored to your businesses needs. 

Get in touch today to find out more about our smart energy management and telecoms services.

Sophie Wyatt
Sophie Wyatt
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