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With the amount of data processed globally continuously increasing, it may seem surprising that energy demand from data centres has remained stable for the past decade. This has been possible by minimising power requirements of non-IT equipment in data centres, leading to a drastic reduction in power usage effectiveness of many centres.
However, as more hyperscale data centres, which can have a demand of over 100 MW, are added to the grid and improvements in energy efficiencies provide fewer opportunities to save energy, we are looking at the role these large energy consumers can play in the energy transition.
Last week Delta-EE attended the 2019 Low Carbon Network Innovation conference in Glasgow. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the range of innovation projects DNOs are currently developing and to discuss our transition to a low-carbon energy system.
The growth of distributed renewable energy is widely regarded as a positive step towards the UK meeting its 2050 net-zero climate target. However, whilst this goal is necessary there is no escaping the challenges it presents for the electricity networks. Distribution networks in the UK are being required to accommodate ever increasing amounts of intermittent renewable generation such as solar PV, and wind. At the same time, they have been called upon to support the electrification of heat and transport with rapidly increasing demand for EV charging and heat pumps. Both present challenges.
Poor customer service is one of the big drivers of churn in energy retail. It’s not difficult to recall a time when you’ve felt underwhelmed when querying an inaccurate electricity bill, when trying to understand a change in payment plan or when changing account after moving home.
But under the surface, there’s a fair amount of innovation happening to address customer pain points, particularly in the digital space. Our research points to a transition away from the traditional approach centred around operational efficiency towards a customer-first approach.
Delta-ee may have been early to the conversation. We started talking 10-15 years ago about decentralised energy, customers not meter points; who has needs, wants and preferences, services beyond commodity. These dynamics have now firmly moved from being on the periphery of the debate to front and centre. Most companies now recognise the direction in which the market is heading, and it seems like we are approaching the cusp of change.
Developing the right strategy and tactics is however challenging – exciting, but challenging.
Following the success of last year’s event in Berlin, we hosted another European Digital Energy Summit to continue the discussions we had twelve months ago. The Edinburgh event brought together a record-breaking number of attendees and we even saw a bit of sunshine in the Scottish capital! Most importantly, we saw a breadth and depth of insightful, intriguing and inspiring discussion from a wide range of stakeholders.
If you didn’t manage to come to the event, don’t worry – there’s always next year! Plus, we’ve brought together the key messages from the two days, which focused on Customer Data Value and the Connected Home.
How many Western Europeans will be regularly using energy insight tools in 5 years? By energy insight tools I’m referring to the devices, often apps, which allow energy customers to see, monitor and act on their energy consumption.
Well, according to industry experts, it’s a staggering 65 million households!
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