Digitalisation of the energy system: Experts urge the EU to ramp up collaboration between the digital and energy sectors
On the 27th of October 2022, DIGITALEUROPE hosted a high-level roundtable on the digitalisation of the energy ecosystem. Executive level representatives from both the energy and digital sectors met to define the key accelerators and most important technologies that Europe can quickly adopt to drive forward the digital transformation of the energy ecosystem.
The EU should use the current energy crisis as an opportunity to increase collaboration between the digital and energy sectors. Digital can help the EU transition away from a state of energy dependency – preventing Russia, for instance, from continuing its weaponisation of energy resources – and instead allow it to accelerate the rollout of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency and save costs for EU consumers and businesses.
As well as to address the energy crisis, digital is a ‘must-have’ in the fight to reduce emissions more broadly, and the EU has a collective responsibility to now actively work with digital to allow it to fulfil its enabling potential.
Experts at the roundtable identified 4 key accelerators that the EU should focus on to bring about more harmony across the bloc , particularly in terms of data flows and the capacity of the energy system to cope with demand and attract new investments:
Data cooperation (to enhance access to and use of sustainability data).
Green Network Infrastructure (to speed up connectivity).
Investment (to boost R&D and innovation in green tech).
Enabling regulation (to create synergies between digital and green policies).
In addition, the roundtable identified a set of winning and fast accelerating digital technologies where Europe can lead such as Cloud, AI and Machine Learning as well as IoT and edge control.
The energy sector can be considered an early adopter of digital technologies , however it must now be enabled to be a continued and efficient adopter. These digital technologies can help a wide array of sectors of the economy, including energy, become significantly greener. By 2030, digital technologies have the potential to help resource-intensive industries in particular reduce their global Co2 emissions by 20%. In other words, these technologies can save 9.7x more emissions than they produce.
We have the what (a need to digitalise the energy system), the why (to foster resilience and achieve our climate goals), and the below report outlines the how (investing in and using these accelerators and key winning technologies that will drive the transition forward).