Opinion – Gerard Bel (Pylon Network CEO): The importance (and aspects) of energy data neutrali
Open access to data has been characterized as the gold of the 21st century. The open and neutral energy databases are the key to a more transparent and competitive energy market that benefits the functioning of our energy systems and the final consumer.
The energy transition speaks of transparency, sustainability, democratization, traceability and trust. The time has come to take a step further in the energy transition by linking technological innovation to the energy sector, and taking advantage of the opportunities that technology offers us for greater development and impact according to our reality, to current patterns of consumption and social and organizational relationships.
That is why we need to speak the same language – a neutral language – between consumers, prosumers and communities on one hand, and companies and organizations, on the other hand, that seek to respond to their needs with digital products and services.
The need for a Neutral Energy Database
Open access to data has been characterized as the gold of the 21st century. In Pylon Network we believe that the same applies to the energy sector. The open and neutral energy databases are the key to a more transparent and competitive energy market that benefits the functioning of our energy systems and the final consumer.
According to Joán Herrera (director of IDAE – Spain), “the creation of a neutral platform, of a” data hub “, is essential, so that the user can access the data and the curves of their own consumption or power generation, and can assign said data to other marketers, to energy services companies or to the aggregator. The easy and detailed access of users to their energy consumption also allows them to better understand their consumption profiles and identify measures to save on the bill. The owner of the data must be the user. And this ownership and possible assignment to third parties is what must introduce competition. Said platform should allow, in turn, preserving the privacy of the user, that the different administrations could detect the most inefficient areas, multiplying in these areas their saving, efficiency and self-consumption strategies. ”
How do we define the “Neutrality” of this database?
After analyzing the different solutions and energy data management systems implemented in other countries, we have identified some key points when designing and implementing this Neutral Database for the EU energy market and in particular, Spain.
– Who will be responsible for the management?
The vast majority focus on decentralized models where the responsibility falls on the DSOs, except Norway and Denmark who propose a centralized data hub managed by the TSO (public domain).
– How can we ensure that neutrality?
We could define how a neutral entity when the system does not depend on third parties. It is also key not to discriminate or limit access to data to anyone (under the user’s consent) and thus facilitate the entry of new players in the market – such as the aggregator.
-What determines if the hub is centralized or decentralized?
The important points to take into account and which define the centralized or decentralized nature of the hub are how the following questions are answered: Who gives the data? Who validates the data? Who stores the data? Who protects and processes the data? data? Who distributes and how the data? The most advanced markets in this aspect choose to centralize the hub, ensuring greater efficiency in management and greater transparency for the user.
– There is an established, EU-wide consensus that sharing of private data must depend on the consent of the data owner (consumer).
Therefore, we emphasize the importance of developing a “user-friendly” tool, focusing on the needs of the final consumer and their easy interaction / participation.
– How can the data access permissions be managed?
Commitment between privacy and accessibility. Only two markets have implemented or have planned to implement a legal framework for the management of data access permissions, ensuring the privacy and security of these. Note that this entity can not benefit commercially for the management of this data.
That’s why in Pylon Network we consider that the best technology to carry out this task of permit management is blockchain, since nobody has control over this, simply all parties have to disagree with the rules established from the beginning. With this technology, the only one that can give or remove access permissions to the data is the end user.
What does Pylon Network propose with its Neutral Database – supported by its Energy-Wise blockchain?
Pylon Network is a completely neutral database where the users are in control of their data without depending on third parties. We can define Pylon as a neutral data hub where accessibility of data is centralized and where the validation, storage, and distribution are decentralized. Pylon can create an ecosystem around the client as it complies with all legislations both in terms of data privacy protection and energy data management according to the market standards.
Therefore Pylon Network is built on the following values and design rules, which strategically positions it in the market and makes it unique:
– the final consumer is the owner of their data and is in full control over it
– the privacy and security of the data is guaranteed, without sacrifices (or barriers) in accessibility.
– all data transactions (accesses / interactions) are traceable, making the whole process of data handling more transparent than the current practices.
– the energy-wise blockchain of Pylon Network is able to support national-wide data operations at the current stage, overcoming the typical problems of scalability and energy demand.
This personalized handling of energy data not only empowers the end user – consumers / prosumers, but also empowers the marketers / cooperatives, distributors and energy services companies, since they will be able to offer innovative and more competitive services, as well as more direct, engaging relationships.
A schematic of Pylon Network’s foundational operation in relation to the digital energy marketplace, is shown below.
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