05 Apr 2017

Digitalization and Energy

Workshop — Paris, France


The International Energy Agency (IEA) is undertaking efforts to improve understanding of the growing interlinkages between energy and digitalization, with a report scheduled for to be released in October 2017. To provide strategic insights to the report, the IEA organised a full-day, technical-level workshop on 5 April 2017 in Paris. The workshop was complemented by deep-dive sessions on 6 April for select topics at IEA headquarters.

Press article: IEA examines critical interplay between digital and energy systems


IEA Digitalization and Energy Workshop

Wednesday, 5 April 2017 


Welcome and introduction

Fatih Birol - Executive Director, IEA
Kamel Ben Naceur - Director of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks, IEA

Keynote: Digital economy big picture 

Peter Evans - Principal, Innovation & Enterprise Solutions, KPMG

1. Digitalization and energy demand

Moderator: Luis Neves - Chairman, Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)
Sudeep Maitra - Global Director of Strategy and Development, Centrica Connected Home
Philippe Crist - Senior Economist and Administrator, International Transport Forum
Karin Eriksson - Project Manager, IETS TCP / CIT Industriell Energi
Eric Williams - Associate Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology

2. Digitalization and power system transition

Moderator: Laurent Schmitt - Secretary General, ENTSO-E
Olivier GrabetteExecutive VP, Prospective, Expertise & Solutions, RTE
Patrick LiddyDirector for UK and Ireland, EnerNOC
Juan de Bedout - Chief Digital Officer, GE Energy Connections
Taiki Yamada - Deputy Director, Electricity Market Office, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan

3. Capturing value from digitalization in energy markets and business models

Moderator: Philipp Offenberg - Analyst, European Political Strategy Centre, European Commission
Agustín Delgado MartínChief Innovation Officer, Iberdrola
Matt GoldenCEO, OpenEE
Julian Gray - Technology Director, Digital Innovation, BP
Anthony Yuen - Director, Commodities Strategy, Citigroup

4. Policy and regulatory opportunities and barriers

Moderator: Caroline Baylon - Information Security Research Lead, AXA R&D
Alexander Folz - Head of the SINTEG Programme, Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Germany
Ho Hiang Kwee - Lead Technologist, National Climate Change Secretariat – Strategy Group, Singapore
Jens Malmodin - Senior Specialist, Ericsson Research
Thomas Weisshaupt - Director of Smart Energy & IoT, Gemalto

Tour de table

Closing remarks


Deep-Dive Sessions

Thursday, 6 April 2017 


Expert meeting on ICT energy demand trends

This meeting brought together a small group of experts to discuss energy demand trends and outlooks related to information and communication technology (ICT) systems, inclusive of the data centers, data networks, and connected devices necessary for providing consumer data services. 

Expert meeting on smart grids

This expert meeting focused on the topic of digitalisation of electricity grids. Experts provided input defining what key fundamental impacts digitalisation will have in the way electricity systems are designed and operated, and what global numbers and messages the IEA may produce on digitalized grids in the 'Digitalization and Energy' special report.

Digital resilience

This full-day workshop focused on understanding the challenges of digital resilience throughout the energy chain, and on insights into good governance arrangements to promote preparedness through training exercises and the mainstreaming of cyber issues into business models and technology development; it was commended by participants as highly timely and useful.

Cyber-attacks – whether aimed at sabotage, taking control of energy systems, industrial espionage, or ransom – are becoming easier and cheaper for hostile actors to organize; these actors may include other states or state use of proxies. Cyber security is a generic problem across systems whether these are managed virtually, or automatically, or by people on site: there is a need for risks analysis to span products, people and processes. Participants were concerned that under-estimation of the threat leads to insufficient spending on security by energy companies and government institutions. Meanwhile the energy sector is becoming more diverse, with millions of new small actors, in particular in electricity, joining the market as participants in small-scale residential electricity generation and local smart grids. This makes it important that digital resilience is mainstreamed into smart technology research and development.

Sharing best practices, preparedness exercises, culture changes inside companies, and the extension of risk assessments to global supply chains should be key areas for governments to encourage businesses to focus on. A preliminary challenge, however, is lack of consensus and coordination on definitions of key concepts.

This workshop was a good learning experience for the IEA aimed at informing further discussions and work. It builds on the IEA’s long-standing expertise and continuous work in supporting member and partner countries to build robust emergency response procedures in relation to energy supply in a more general context of energy system resilience. The Agency is well equipped with tools such as Emergency Response Reviews or Emergency Response Exercises to bring added value into the global debate on this important challenge.

Welcome: Keisuke Sadamori, Director of Energy Markets and Security, IEA 

Panel 1: Understanding digital resilience challenges and opportunities

Moderator: Mike Corcoran, Warwick University Cybersecurity Centre
Eero Kytomaa, NATO
Caroline Baylon, AXA
David Hanlon, International Electrotechnical Commission

Panel 2: Best practice in governance arrangements to promote digital resilience

Moderator: Caroline Baylon, AXA
Kristo Klesment, Elering
Michaela Kollau, DG Energy European Commission
Mike Corcoran,Warwick University Cybersecurity Centre

Tour de table and closing remarks


Emerging business models in a digital energy efficiency services market

Digitalization is providing new opportunities to access the potential of energy efficiency, enabling impacts to be more accurately measured at a more granular level, and opening up new business models to take advantage of the multiple benefits that efficiency can provide. This side event brought together participants from government, business and academia to discuss digitalization’s impact on the business models currently found in the energy efficiency services markets and explore new business opportunities. Presentations focused on:

• the use of digital platforms to quantify energy savings, enabling them to be sold to utilities;
• experience with industrial energy management systems relying on information technology;
• a government-funded consumer study on the preferred delivery route for energy efficiency solutions;
• the opportunities for energy service companies provided by consumer-facing apps;
• the importance of consumer load profile data and the ability to use time of use tariffs; and
• the energy consumption implications of using machine learning and the Internet of Things on large energy using ICT sites.

Discussion covered issues such as data privacy, and cultural differences in attitudes towards the handling of data by utilities; the benefits of technology and delivery route neutral policies that allow the private sector to compete to find new business models; the ability of energy efficiency to access health insurance funding in particular cases; and the changing shape of utilities’ retail businesses, which are increasingly shifting towards service models.