Distribution system operators (DSOs) are tackling changes in the energy sector – especially the profound transformation power systems are undergoing today. As a DSO, Enedis needs to connect decentralised generation facilities to the grid (PV, wind, etc.), as well as find answers to address the new ways that electricity is being consumed today. This means we must make our grids smarter.
Enedis’ digital programme to accelerate digital transformation
With this in mind, Enedis launched a four-year digital programme in mid-2014 to get our 38,000 employees on board with our digital transformation. A transversal evaluation was conducted on digital maturity in order to define the strategic priority levers.
The digital programme aims to accelerate the digital transformation within our company. As drivers for digital transformation, we have had several breakthroughs, including the mobile app ‘Enedis à mes côtés’ [Enedis by my side] to inform clients of power cuts, a new open innovation platform, digital events like hackathons, etc. [Engerati-In Focus: Digital Transformation in the Energy Sector]
Data is key in energy transition
Data is at the heart of energy transition, as the increasing development of technology such as the Internet of things (IoT) and big data has a strong impact on our business. Enedis is therefore committed to an ambitious data strategy.
We have already begun to roll out Linky, our new connected smart meter, to our clients. It will provide us with much more data, which will help us to improve electricity distribution quality and performance. Enedis’ focus on data has led us to invest in human resources and recruit data scientists for our Digital Factory.
Enedis is a neutral market enabler. We are a third party committed to administrating the exchange of energy market data neutrally. On the one hand, Enedis guarantees the complete privacy of personal information, commercially sensitive data and data that are sensitive in terms of public safety. On the other hand, Enedis has released data of public interest (excluding the above-mentioned private data) to local authorities and customers through our open data platform. 15 data sets are already available and there will soon be more to come.
Enedis is the first DSO in Europe to launch an open data platform, supporting local innovation and positioning new services: data.erdf.fr
Empowering power system players through data
Enedis empowers consumers first, giving citizens all the information they need to participate in the energy transition.
With Linky, 35 million consumers will be able to access their day-to-day consumption data online, leading to better control over their power consumption and expenses. We have already tested out a data-visualisation homepage and we will continue to work on it with start-ups.
As a partner of the first hackathon organised by the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Enedis highlighted the jecomprendsmonenergie.fr platform. With this platform, consumers can decide to share and compare consumption data with other consumers similar to them.
Data also have concrete applications for the electric system, for instance asset management on predictive maintenance. To become better acquainted with our assets and anticipate power failures, Enedis began conducting experiments on the grid in 2015 to develop behavioural models based on big data analysis.
Empowering power system players through digital transformation and data is at the heart of Enedis’ project to achieve energy transition goals.
From my experience of driving Enedis’ digital transformation for over two years now, I can say that the biggest digital transformation challenge is internal and related to cultural change – more specifically how to work in a more collaborative way and to empower our staff.
This article appeared in Metering & Smart Energy International Issue 4 2016.