Funding from the Open Data Institute to further explore Open Energy

Last week, the Open Data Institute, a research institute founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, announced funding for seven UK initiatives and projects as part of their Innovate UK funded R&D programme. Open Climate Fix is one of the seven winners of the fund and will be joining the programme until March 2021. The Open Data Institute works with companies and governments to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem, where people can make better decisions using data. We will be using the funding, support and mentorship provided by experts at the Open Data Institute to further develop our work on opening up energy data.

Specifically, we propose to facilitate the communications between different energy stakeholders to create a semantic web of energy data, specifically starting with solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation data. We will compare and contrast existing standards around sharing data and help create a common shared standard for PV data in the energy sector. This will be the first step towards enabling solar energy to be better managed and ultimately enabling real-time machine to machine communication between distributed energy resources. By doing so we will remove a critical and essential blocker towards reaching Net Zero in the energy industry.

Besides researching and facilitating these open standards, OCF will investigate different revenue models, funding sources and cost structures to ensure both commercial and organisational sustainability for sharing energy data and the role of the nonprofit at the centre of the process.

Thanks to the Open Data Institute we will be able invest time into engaging with PV data set holders. We have contacts with at least two such parties already and will look to expand that list. In engaging with the data holders we will work firstly to develop common standards for data in a real-world example - both the time-series data and system metadata. One of the key pieces of work will be developing an anonymisation framework to protect individual’s privacy around the consumer PV market.

Lastly, we will work to make the PV data sets accessible under open or commercial licences. We have had positive feedback from one PV data set owner already.