European energy sector increasing data usage, but not yet fully data-centric – Press Release

In-depth Opendatasoft research finds challenges centre on culture, data quality and complex technology

The study reveals the following narrative: 66% of these companies are fervently advocating for increased data sharing to accelerate decarbonisation efforts. However, 73% of European energy companies are struggling with significant challenges as they aim to embrace a data-centric approach and promote wider access to data. The primary obstacles include widespread problems like poor data quality affecting 84% of companies, a lack of emphasis on fostering a data-centric culture reported by 73%, and the complexities associated with technical tools acknowledged by 64% of entities. This in-depth examination of the European energy sector’s data dynamics emphasizes the critical influence these factors wield in moulding the industry’s trajectory.

These are the headline findings of the State of European Energy Data Maturity Study, major research released today by Opendatasoft, in conjunction with E.DSO and GEODE.

The study shed light on the acknowledgment among European energy entities regarding the substantial advantages of leveraging data. A unanimous 100% affirm the critical role of data in enhancing efficiency, followed closely by 98% recognising its importance in facilitating digital transformation, and 96% attributing it to an increase in transparency.

However, despite the recognition of these benefits, a full embrace of a data-centric approach is yet to be achieved. Only 33% base their decisions on data analysis, and a mere 31% have an open data portal. Consequently, while 86% share data internally among employees, a less impressive 71% extend this practice to sharing with customers or partners. This limitation in data sharing hinders the potential for collaborative efforts across the industry.

“The European energy sector is transforming to meet key objectives around decarbonisation, digitisation, security of supply and greater efficiency,” said Jean-Marc Lazard, CEO and co-founder of Opendatasoft. “Data sharing across the wider ecosystem is critical to enabling them to meet their pressing challenges. It enables them to collaborate, build trust and make better decisions. On the positive side our study shows that energy players understand the benefits of putting data at the heart of their operations. However, they still have a way to go to achieve data democratisation and make data access and reuse simple and seamless for everyone, inside and outside the organisation.”

Christian Buchel, Chair of E.DSO stated: “European DSOs are remodelling their businesses through data gathered by serving customers, from smart meters, grid capacity analysis and planning, infrastructure operations, system operations, and market facilitation.

These efforts show the need for a smart digital infrastructure based on data exchange that ensures observability and control of energy flows in the future energy system.”

The State of European Energy Data Maturity Study is based on a survey of 51 executives from across the European energy sector, carried out in Q3 2023. They included representatives from Distribution System Operators (DSO), energy producers, Transmission System Operators (TSO) and other players (including tech providers, public energy authorities, and other utilities).

E-REDES, showcases data democratisation through its 2022 Open Data Portal, fostering innovation and engagement in the energy transition. The Open Data Academy Challenge awards monetary prizes for top dissertations using portal data, while E-REDES’ Municipality Dashboard offers comprehensive energy metrics for Portugal’s 278 municipalities, enhancing collective action for the energy transition. Please read more here.

A full report on the research can be downloaded here.

About E.DSO

European Distribution System Operators (E.DSO) promotes and enables customers empowerment and the increase in the use of clean energy sources through electrification, the development of smart and digital grid technologies in real-life situations, new market designs and regulation.

E.DSO gathers 35 leading electricity distribution system operators (DSOs), including 2 national associations, cooperating to ensure the reliability of Europe’s electricity supply for consumers and enabling their active participation in our energy system. How? By shaping smarter grids for your future.

E.DSO and its members are committed to taking on the huge challenges associated with realising the Energy Union, built on the EU’s ambitious energy, climate, security of supply, jobs and growth objectives. This involves ensuring the reliability and security of Europe’s electricity supply to consumers while enabling them to take a more active part in our energy system. E.DSO focuses on guiding EU research, demonstration and innovation (RD & I), policy and Member State regulation to support smart grids development for a sustainable energy system.

For more information:

Tiffany Jordan

PR for E.DSO

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