The UK Data Service is embarking on an exciting five year multi-disciplinary research programme to develop a portal that will have the potential to transform research into UK energy challenges.
Working with the University College London and the University of Essex and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) this academic partnership will enable new research, offering solutions to the energy trilemma of security, affordability and environmental sustainability.
This programme will provide the potential to transform UK energy research through the long-term provision of high quality, high-resolution energy data, to enable a reliable evidence base for intervention, observational and longitudinal studies across the socio-technical field.
Providing access to household energy data to the research community for the first time, the programme will support government policy and aim to stimulate the development of new products, services and energy markets in the UK. Only data from households that provide explicit, voluntary consent to use the data for research will be collected. As part of the project, the Energy Saving Trust will also be leading an Energy Advice Service for consumers that request use of their smart meter data for this purpose. This innovative research and technology will also build on existing best practice and develop guidelines and methods to enhance data security and enable innovative uses of smart meter data for the future.
Technical capacity and delivery
This project will use the big data technology developed through the ESRC Big Data Network Support (BDNS), part of the UK Data Service. The technology team, led by Nathan Cunningham at the University of Essex will develop a secure, consistent and trusted channel for researchers to access high-resolution energy data and enable researchers to carry out innovative energy research for years to come.
Passionate about the transformational potential of this project, Nathan, Co-Investigator and Associate Director of the UK Data Service at Essex said, ‘This is an exciting and revolutionary project for energy research as the portal we are designing will have the potential to really make a positive impact on lasting research and help solve key energy challenges in the UK.‘
A scalable enterprise Hadoop Data Services as a Platform (DSaaP) will be used and a cloud scalable solution will support researchers and customers. With explicit, voluntary consent for data to be collected the portal will provide a repository of smart meter data enhanced with contextual dwelling, household and neighbourhood attributes for use in secondary data analysis.