Leverage digitalization to accelerate the energy transition
We now know the current situation and the corresponding challenges towards the new energy era, but how can the challenges along the road towards this new era be addressed? How can we leverage the increasingly connected nature of the energy system to ensure an efficient transition to a low-carbon energy system? Three renewable enablers are given below.
Enabling transparent and bottom-up data driven policy decisions
All involved parties should at all times have access to the available and uniform data, so that transparancy and openness is enabled, and service providers can use the datastream to achieve optimal use of assets in the system. Data that becomes available, through for example smartmeters and specific analytics software, will play an important role here. Data driven services can then be used to help explore different strategies for a specific area or region, which helps to optimize the portfolio balance between the different energy sources, providing tailored advice and an optimal energy balance.
Enabling open markets through neutral platforms
Open and neutral market platforms can facilitate healthy market competition and enables the different players to offer their services to the market in an as tailored and innovative way. An example of such initiative is TNO’s HESI (Hybrid Energy System Integration) lab which was opened in the beginning of 2017. This open laboratory makes energy knowledge and complex, large-scale IT-systems available to the wider public. Entrepreneurs can connect and test their innovative products and services and expose these to the market. This way, the HESI center aims to enhance collaboration and cost-effectiveness of (data-driven) energy labs in the Netherlands and to bring them in contact with other global leading energy-data centers. Looking ahead, similar initiatives will be the promising enablers for open and neutral market platforms.
Enabling and unlocking of flexibility in the system
Energy-data gathered in smart grids could in the future stimulate the storage of energy oversupplies with delicate demand-supply control via variable and dynamic energy prices, on both a central and a decentral level. In addition, energy-data rebate-type programs can be developed, in which consumers receive a refund on their energy bill for enabling the utility to control their energy consumption for a few hours each month. This way, a household’s energy consumption cycle could be managed to account for the status of the network, without compromising comfort for the end user. The use of energy consuming devices and charging electric vehicles can then be controlled by the utility and shifted to times of lower load. Lastly, flexibility can also be introduced by temporary storing electricity in batteries on a local level, to converting oversupplies in electricity into other renewable energy types, like hydrogen.
Pursuing the transition to a decarbonized energy system
Reducing the carbon footprint of energy production and consumption is a global and challenging ambition. In addition, the growing complexity and interconnectedness of the energy system creates new challenges, but combined with digitalization trends also creates opportunities for managing the complexity and uncertainty in the process towards a clean and affordable energy transition. In this process, there is an important role for leveraging the growing data volume in the system, resulting from connected assets, devices, people and companies distributed throughout the system. Neutral platforms will make this data universally available to further boost innovation and market forces. In other words, digital technology and data are key in a successful transition to a decarbonized energy system and the Renewable New.
Are you a startup with an innovative idea that will boost the clean and affordable energy transition? Excited to connect with the leading organizations in the industry? To pitch your innovation to the Netherlands’ key investors? To win the Blue Tulip award for best innovation in front of 2500 innovators? Are you up for a challenge? This is your last opportunity to register for the Accenture Innovation Awards 2017.
Authors: Koen Groot, Utku kucukosmanoglu, Rik Jacobs, Frans Willem Strabucchi