Estonia: Data is the New Oil

2nd July 2019

News ArticleEuropeEventsInnovationMember Committees

On June 13, 2019, World Energy Council Estonia organized a high-level event on the topic of energy and IT developments. World Energy Council Estonia brought leaders of the energy and IT sectors together in Tallinn for the event called “Estonia: Data Is the New Oil.” The event was focused on using modern technology and IT solutions in the energy sector. How to best exploit different types of data, regularly collected by the energy companies, was the central theme.

Estonia is globally known as the front runner in digital solutions. Digitalization also extends to the Estonian electricity market. In fact, Estonia is the first country in the European Union to have full remote reading capabilities and a central data hub where hourly consumption data relating to each client is stored.

Smart metering as enabler for first-class digital solutions
Hando Sutter, CEO of Enefit, Estonia’s largest energy company, emphasized at the event that smart metering enables Enefit to use several first-class digital solutions that serve one purpose — to provide customers with cleaner energy and cost-effective digital services. They use data to cut network losses and plan investments. They also use data to offer consumers personalized consumption-management solutions. “Our consumers use these solutions on a digital platform accessible via Enefit's mobile app, which will soon be integrated along with micro-production and energy storage solutions,” says Sutter.

Harnessing the power of digital to modernize energy production
Participants at the seminar acknowledged that the global energy sector is going through major transformations in its efforts to bridge the gap between supply and demand with clean energy sources and modernizing energy production to increase efficiency and lower the costs of production.

"In the energy sector, we are helping our customers ready themselves for the future, tackle the challenges of today and achieve the highest levels of operational efficiency through automation," says Priit Alamäe, Founder and CEO of Nortal, a global digital transformation company with the unique experience of transforming Estonia into a digital leader.

Using intelligent, integrated software that eliminates manual entry, streamlines operations and harnesses the power of IoT, the company is now redesigning complex supply-chain and terminal management processes up to the point of delivery for a leading European oil company.

From space to energy production
Big Data can be very useful in the energy sector. One of the leading Estonian ICT companies, Datel, recently developed an innovative, space-based infrastructure deformation monitoring service named Sille. This early warning system uses data from the European Union's satellites and can detect the shifts and subsidence of energy sector infrastructure — such as pipelines, mines, dams and different types of power plants — with a precision of up to 1 millimeter. This innovative service helps prevent accidents caused by deterioration of infrastructure and, thus, contributes to the public’s general safety.

CEO of Datel, Urmas Kõlli, stated at the seminar that this new, innovative service is already in use in the nuclear and hydropower industries in different parts of the world.

Smart grid enables smart and digital energy transition
Karl Kull, project manager of SMAGRINET, stressed that it’s also important to educate the public and key industry players concerning the complexities surrounding the transition to smart and digital energy systems.

SMAGRINET is a smart grid competence hub funded under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. “It is important to provide vital information on the existing best practices starting from the technical side and ending on the legislative packages which have to be made in order to transition a grid into a smart grid,” stressed Kull at the WEC Estonia seminar. In addition to consultations and guidance, SMAGRINET provides ready-made, short-term learning programs for the industry and MA-level programs for universities.

You can learn more about Estonia’s digital success story in the energy sector at "World Energy Congress" being held in Abu Dhabi September 9–12, 2019.


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