New digital energy system map shows the power & potential of energy digitalisation

Britain’s electricity and gas networks have launched a new National Energy Systems Map (NESM), a proof-of-concept project that could help pave the way for a smarter, Net Zero, energy system.

As the system becomes more decentralised, decarbonised and digitalised, the NESM is a new, digital innovation in the UK and one of the first steps towards an integrated internet of energy.

Network data from all Britain’s electricity and gas network operators has been pulled together into a digital, whole-energy system map covering Great Britain.

Working with Ordnance Survey and 1Spatial to deliver the project, the NESM provides an important initial test with the aim of helping to make it easier for renewables and other low carbon technologies to connect, and also help companies and innovators across the energy industry to make investment decisions more efficiently.

The pilot project will give customers information about energy network assets, where those assets are located as well as who owns them. This forms a key part of the Government’s Energy Digitalisation Strategy and was a core recommendation of the Energy Digitalisation Taskforce.

Making sure that data is protected is a priority and an independent data security review has been carried out. After registering online, users will be able to access different levels of data depending on their need. Decisions around the access levels and available data were part of the security review.

Dan Clarke, Head of Innovation at Energy Networks Association which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses, said: “The National Energy Systems Map is great news for innovators and investors alike. When looking to connect renewable technologies, EV hubs or other future projects to the energy networks, users can more easily identify the best place to do so. In harnessing the power of data and providing more transparency we are moving forward and delivering a digitalisation boost to Net Zero.”

Laura Sandys, Chair of the Energy Digitalisation Taskforce, said: “This project is one of the very crucial building blocks for a digitalised energy system and was one of the core recommendations of the Energy Data Taskforce. This will become one of the essential tools in managing our new decarbonised system. Congratulations to the great team who have developed this.”

Matt Webb, Chair of Energy Networks Association’s NESM Project and Head of Enterprise Data Management at UK Power Networks, said: “The National Energy System Map is a key project which demonstrates the collective desire of all UK energy network operators to respond to the challenge laid down by the Energy Data Taskforce to accelerate the digitalisation of the energy system.

“We are proud to have led the delivery of this project which has been a shining example of collaborative coordination across Energy Networks Association member organisations with all aligned in the ambition to provide stakeholders with frictionless access to standardised network data at a national level.

“Feedback from our stakeholders is now key in ensuring that we progress with a clear understanding of how the platform can successfully maximise access to and use of our national energy infrastructure.”

Image: Shutterstock

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