Dr Alison Halford, Research Fellow for Cyber-physical Advances, Centre for Computational Science and Mathematical Modelling, Coventry University
29 March 2022
As part of a series of measures to support the digitalisation of UK energy systems, in 2018 the government and Ofgem announced the formation of the Energy Data Taskforce. Led by Laura Sandys from Challenging Ideas and the Energy Systems Catapult, this taskforce explored the benefits and challenges in accessing transparent, accessible, interoperable and accurate data in the energy sector. One of the key recommendations from the resultant report, A Strategy for a Modern Digitalised Energy System, was for the energy sector to map infrastructures to promote and support new business models and technologies.
Connecting energy actors within industry, policy, and research is critical to supporting innovation that aids the transition to fairer, ethical energy systems and securing a low-carbon future that protects the natural environment. Yet, the absence of discoverable, searchable, and understandable digital platforms that can navigate the energy project landscape leads to missed opportunities for existing and new energy sector players.
In response to the lack of a comprehensive view of the energy project landscape, researchers from the EnergyREV Cyber-physical systems team have produced a ‘Catalogue of Projects on Energy Data’ (CoPED) with support from BEIS and Energy System Catapult. This data portal captures energy projects metadata from UKRI and, using a series of visualisation features, can enable energy actors to identify gaps in knowledge, gain insights from the landscape maps, and signpost future delivery partners. Over time, as other energy projects from multiple sources, information stores and portals are added, the portal will expand to become a central hub for all UK energy projects.
With the introduction of features and functions that allow for interaction between energy stakeholders, CoPED will permit researchers and innovators alike to identify opportunities where synergies could be exploited between projects and new collaborations could be formed.
- For the research community, these visualisation tools provide options and perform queries that give more granular insights into proposed and existing projects that have been funded by research councils.
- While for industry, the visualisation and querying tools of the portal will identify potential and existing investable, scalable models for energy services.
- Policymakers and local governmental departments will be able to use the platform to map the uptake and development of renewable technologies projects, providing an evidence base for strategic deployment.
Co-design: Building an energy community of practice
In approaching the development of CoPED through the lens of ‘co-design’, where energy stakeholders are invited to be seen as equal collaborators in the design process, the development of the product sought to promote, sustain, and strengthen the ‘energy digitalisation’ conversation. This was achieved through community workshops and deep-dive interviews at key development stages, ensuring end-users, such as academics, industry, and policymakers, were integral in the decision making on how the platform evolved to reflect the needs of the sector. By bringing the energy project community together through information requests, connections, and updates, CoPED becomes a dynamic platform that will respond to shifts in the energy project landscape to ensure the sustainability and longevity of its adoption continues to reflect existing and future user needs.
The ‘Catalogue of Projects on Energy Data’ (CoPED) will be launched in April 2022. Please get in touch with Dr Alison Halford, Centre for Computational Science and Mathematical Modelling, Coventry University, for more information about the platform.