What hinders the breakthrough of innovative smart energy services?

by Paul Tobin [GECO Global]

The European energy sector is in the process of a major shift from a traditional centralised structure to a more inclusive system that incorporates digitalisation, includes a wider variety of stakeholders, and requires new organisational processes. The H2020 SYNERGY project aims to implement an innovative big-data platform that promotes collaboration between currently diversified and fragmented electricity actors. This change will represent a more holistic approach that incorporates “end-to-end” coordination between the electricity sector stakeholders.

The successful adoption of these changes is reliant on identifying and addressing various barriers associated with integrating new technologies and services in the energy market. Assessing the barriers is a major component of the SYNERGY R&D project. What we intend to showcase here is a series of articles that dive into the socioeconomic, organisational, regulatory, and technological barriers to innovation. More specifically, how barriers in these domains hinder the implementation of services related to big data analytics.

To properly understand these barriers, the research journey in SYNERGY extended beyond current knowledge and hypothetical models to an investigation with various real market actors. To assess how these barriers truly impact the energy sector at the ground level, data and information were obtained from 11 organisations connected to the electricity sector, these organisations comprised of 6 different stakeholder groups (aggregator, facility managers/ESCOs, network operators, RES operators, retailers, and urban planners) in the electricity data value chain across pilot sites in five different countries. This process will ultimately decipher the impact of the relevant barriers to implementing the novel big data analytics platform, and the various related innovative services offered in SYNERGY.

The Barriers