Jonathan Wentworth, Lorna Christie, Lydia Harriss and Rodosthenis Charalampous with contributions from Ralitsa Hiteva and Benjamin Sovacool
Digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) can improve the efficiency and flexibility of the UK energy system, support deeper penetration of renewable and distributed energy sources, and help support the development of innovative products and services for consumers.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has estimated that by 2050, improved energy system flexibility through digitalisation could reduce the overall UK energy system costs by up to £10 billion annually and create up to 24,000 jobs. A 2020 report by the accounting firm PwC estimated that by 2030, the incorporation of digital technologies such as AI into the energy sector may boost global Gross Domestic Product by up to £3.82 trillion while helping reduce global carbon emissions by up to 4%.
Digitalisation of the energy system is prominently featured in the UK Government’s 2020 Energy White Paper. In March 2021, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport listed the use of digital innovation to reach Net Zero as one of its ten technological priorities. In July 2021, the first energy sector digitalisation strategy and action plan was published by the UK Government.
Wentworth, J., Christie, L., Harriss, L. and Charalampous, R. 2021. Energy sector digitalisationOpens in a new tab. London: Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) Research Briefing.
Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash