Survey on data exchange in the energy industry

Through its recent survey, the German Energy Agency (dena) has been gathering data for establishing a government data institute in the energy sector. The digital energy system of the future will also be based on clear rules.

Zwei Hände halten Glühbirnen in den Sonnenuntergang©Adobe Stock / Ipopba

Digitalising the energy sector plays a key role in the energy transition. This is because many processes in the energy system of the future will only work if they are highly digitalised, for example billing based on variable tariffs, the automatic control of energy systems, electricity grid monitoring and heat planning.

As the energy, heating and transport transition progresses, increasing use is being made of distributed electricity consumers and generation facilities. This includes, for example, photovoltaic systems, heat pumps and home storage systems. Such systems can specifically react to the available electricity supply, for example, by being integrated into the energy system such that they can be controlled digitally. This also means that they can be switched on or off as needed and can feed electricity into the grid. To integrate and use the flexibility of these systems in the energy system, the required measurements, forecasts and further data (such as system properties) need to be exchanged smoothly between the different parties involved.

Data institute to pool expertise and offer advice

To exchange data fluidly, the electricity sector needs a well thought-out data infrastructure and sound data governance (standards and guidelines for the collection, storage, processing and destruction of data) so that data is shared wherever this is useful and is prepared for various possible uses. This means that the data cannot only be stored at individual companies, for example, but must also be able to be linked for joint analysis in order to provide a complete picture of the energy situation. The new data institute is to help with this task, above all by pooling accumulated expertise on data sharing and data utilisation and offering targeted advice and support at national level. It is not, however, intended to take on regulatory and sovereign tasks.

Precursor survey to help establish the data institute runs until 21 March 2024

A survey gathering data prior to the launch of the data institute is being undertaken to clarify the challenges that arise in the energy sector when exchanging data and to pinpoint where support is needed and what opportunities lie in data exchange. The survey is being run by the German Energy Agency’s ‘Future Energy Lab’, where the digital and energy industries are conducting actual tests on digital energy and climate technologies. Individuals from research, the energy sector and civil society can take part up to 21 March 2024.

As part of the survey, Future Energy Lab asks about the current state of data exchange in the energy industry. This will enable information and food for thought to be collected to help with designing Module 2 (energy use case looking at the ‘Smart integration of distributed systems’), as part of work to set up the data institute. In this way, the findings of the survey can be incorporated into the role of the data institute over the next two years and thus help support the digitalisation of the energy transition.