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News 17 September 2021

EERA’s feedback on the EU's Roadmap for an Action Plan on the Digitalisation of the Energy Sector

In pursuit of transforming Europe’s energy system, the European Commission released a roadmap for an Action Plan on the digitalisation of the energy sector.  

In addition to facilitating the integration of energy systems, digitalisation encompasses many solutions that will benefit the Clean Energy Transition (CET) by making energy supply more efficient and intuitive. In turn, providing a major push towards attaining the 2050 climate neutrality goal.  

Like all deeply transformative forces, the broader impacts and implications of digitalisation must be tackled all across the board. For example, its indirect footprint needs to be explicitly addressed and prevented when tampering with the CET objectives. Indeed, the widespread introduction of digital technologies across economic activities creates additional challenges to the overall system resiliency and security, which should be fully understood and adequately addressed.  

This topic is at the heart of EERA’s interest, as demonstrated by the organisation’s recent activities.  Not only has EERA recently launched a transversal Joint Programme in Digitalisation for Energy, but it is also a partner of EERAdata, a Horizon 2020 project focused on the FAIRification of data. In addition, EERA’s flagship project - SUPEERA - hosted an event on the digitalisation of the energy sector, aiming to highlight R&I, policy, and business priorities of the European CET in regard to the unfolding digital landscape.  

As a result, EERA strongly supports the Commission’s initiative and made the following specific proposals to its Action Plan:  

  • To include FAIR principles (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse of digital assets) to both address computational systems interaction with data; and increase transparency and citizens’ trust in the digitalisation of the energy sector; 
  • To profit from the capabilities that high-performance computing and artificial intelligence can provide to improve the whole energy value chain; 
  • To acknowledge the role of Energy Communities, individual and collective prosumers in fostering a culture of innovation and sustainability; 
  • To work towards the adoption of future emerging technologies such as blockchain and cybersecurity, among others; 
  • To consider material efficiency and replacement to low-carbon materials of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), in addition to energy efficiency; 
  • To acknowledge energy storage as one of the main areas for intervention in the final Action Plan. 

EERA will follow with interest the development of the Action Plan, in particular through its transversal Joint Programme on Digitalisation for Energy. This will be indeed a prime tool to navigate the complexities of this most topical subject. In the own words of its Joint Programme Coordinator, dr. Rafael Mayo García:  

"EERA brings in its community’s talents and skills to assure the digital transformation of the energy sector is effective and human-centric."

You can read EERA's full feedback to the roadmap here.

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