Data as the foundation of the energy transition

Data as the foundation of the energy transition

“An interoperable system where we can jointly share, access and analyse data is the foundation of all we do,” says Daniela Sellmann, Global VP Utilities at SAP and a member of the executive board of ESMIG.

Speaking on behalf of ESMIG, Europe’s smart energy provider organisation, in a Connect interview at Enlit Europe, Sellmann said there was happiness with the first draft of the European Union’s digitalisation strategy for a common energy data model or ‘data space’.

Drawing a parallel with the automotive sector data exchange Catena-X, she commented on its success saying that it had enabled new business models that wouldn’t be available otherwise.

“We believe with data standards that we share across the EU, we decrease boundaries as currently it is being done on an individual and country by country basis.”

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In this context regulators have an important role to play, as they do to support interoperability and other developments, Sellmann says, commenting on the presence of demand side flexibility in European legislation since 2019 but not yet being implemented in all countries.

As an example she says that in Germany she is unable as an end-user to access her consumption data, to benefit from flexible tariffs or to feed back excess PV generation to the grid.

Turning to the ongoing smart meter rollout across the EU, Sellmann said that the vendors are – and have been – ready to support it but again she highlights the need for a legislative push.

“The cost-benefit analysis, which ultimately comes down to the costs of deploying the technology, is one way to look at it but to make the energy transition happen means that we also need to look at all the business models we can actually leverage if we have a smart meter deployed.

“Yes, we need to look at interoperability and we need to have certain measures in place to scale via the European Union, but we need our legislators to support us in doing it.”

While there are challenges, such as the supply chain, this is in the process of being resolved.

“Smart meters are the foundation for visibility for the utility but also for end consumers for making the energy transition happen. To reach the 80% target by 2028 we need to move as we have a long way to go.”