Project EDDIE – European Distributed Data Infrastructure for Energy starts!
The fast-growing need for more flexibility across sectors requires to rethink current approaches to ease and accelerate the deployment of energy data-based services taking advantage of the large deployment of Smart metering and new IoT sensors within and beyond the energy sector. However, the main barrier to facilitate reuse of this data is that there is currently no large scale, uniform, and easy access to consumer energy data across European Member States (MSs), which is a significant barrier to develop these services across Europe, whether as web-based or mobile applications to citizen energy awareness and foster development of new energy management and flexibility offerings. A large number of SME players are currently acting on national practices, who lack standards and interoperable interface to develop beyond their national boundaries.
Nowadays it is hard to find out, how to get access to different kinds of energy-related data in other MSs (e.g., consumption patterns, production). Even if the know-how is available, it is still a considerable effort to develop and maintain connectivity with another MS’s data-sharing infrastructure. According to , 50% to 80% of the costs of data projects go into data integration. These high costs for data integration imply that new data-driven, automated and autonomous participants in our energy system cannot focus on their already complex core tasks – e.g., provide customers with energy efficiency services or (enabling customers to) provide services to the grid. On a social level, the awareness of European citizens about their energy consumption is – if the data is available at all – mostly limited to national surroundings which hinders the deployment of cross-border energy services especially in close to the border regions.
Many actors are also facing new challenges to access to near real-time measurements of smart meters and data measured by in-home sensors and infrastructure which is a key prerequisite to enable distributed energy resource flexibility into future TSO-DSO markets whether for demand responsive resources, home batteries and electric vehicles (EV).
There has been a race to facilitate the federation of European central data hubs – which have so far been established as focal data exchanges where metering and consumption data is bunkered and made available to services in need. Discussions in European Expert Groups are showing that a “central European data hub” is not recommended, because of its role as a Single Point of Access, Control or Failure and dependencies that would come with it – amongst other issues.
Project EDDIE ( https://eddie.energy, funded from 2023-2025 by the Horizon Europe Program ) – co-ordinated by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and developed together with more than 16 European partner organisations – investigates another direction to establish a European communication layer above the MS data exchange environments to provide a harmonized European interface. Considering the shortfalls experienced through the deployment of centralised, inter-dependent and inflexible platform, the EDDIE consortium proposes a completely decentralised, distributed, open-source Data Space solution, aligned with directions of the work on the Implementing Acts on Interoperability as mandated by Article 24 of Directive (EU) 2019/944, the European Data Strategy and accommodated with the European Data Spaces Initiative. From the project’s viewpoint, grid operators, smart energy system actors and – first and foremost – data-sharing infrastructure operators must team up to unlock the full potential of data-driven services and establish the grounds for European players to pioneer this especially important domain.
Main objective is to create a dependable, scalable, and extensible European Distributed Data Infrastructure for Energy Framework (see Figure 1 – Grouping of data access challenges to get to a uniform interface below) streamlining the access to (1) data accessible through data-sharing infrastructure (e.g., grid operators, connection point registries, etc.) (2) in-house citizen data and (3) publicly available data (like price signals from exchanges or information on the current electricity mix available).
Figure 1 – Grouping of data access challenges to get to a uniform interface
Instead of intervening with national data management scenarios, the solution encapsulates European and regional diversity, and allows for services to act on a unified European interface. The complexity behind will be handled by the open-source EDDIE Framework. The functionalities that cannot be unified (e.g., onboarding/registration for national market communication), are streamlined to minimize integration efforts for data-driven services. Active European customers get a trusted and unique user experience to manage their energy data-sharing.
Near real-time in-house citizen data is seamlessly integrated in the proposed architecture through the use of open prosumer data interfaces transformed to a common format and managed securely. EDDIE’s Administrative Interface for In-house Data Access (AIIDA) targets to integrate data from different behind-the-main-meter environments and allows to share that data through an online consent-based mechanism. Edge computing patterns are utilized to provide users insights into their local data, and act efficiently as a data provider to the outside on a higher level under the full control of the user.
EDDIE utilizes Apache Kafka Open-Source streaming technology and containerized infrastructure to enable full de-centralisation, high scalability while enabling real-time streaming data exchanges. The proposed platform will be deployed through Open-Source components and deployable easily in developer desktops as well as in cloud-native environments. Communication is done directly from data source to data-driven service and there will not be a need for a central intermediary. The framework is designed to be extensible to support requirements of distributed flexibility, aggregation for every future flexibility market.
In three phases, EDDIE will connect infrastructures from most European Member States, but also from countries outside the Union. Figure 2 – Intended geographical coverage below demonstrates this aim.
Figure 2 – Intended geographical coverage
With interoperability, the connectivity with data-sharing infrastructures and European Data Spaces, Project EDDIE – European Distributed Data Infrastructure for Energy – fulfills 2 key priorities of the European Commission’s Action Plan for the Digitalisation of the Energy Sector (DoEAP).
EDDIE’s vision is to let energy services work and compete in the future European digital market and to accelerate the deployment of smart, data-based energy-related services to support the energy system operation across sectors. It will establish a “write once, run anywhere” scenario for smart grids – related application.
This means that European citizens will be offered a greater choice between more competitive options considering the easy integration of their metering and consumption data. These new technical and market-related opportunities will boost competition, quality, and functionality of energy data – based services by drastically reducing cost-per-customer and leveraging economies of scale.
For final customers, it will become as easy to join an energy community, or share different types of energy-related data, as if they would pay online through an Internet Payment Service Provider.
In addition, EDDIE closes a significant gap for the further development of data-based solutions in the energy domain: the lack of streamlined, secure and easy access to measurements of in-house sensors. The Administrative Interface for In-house Data Access (AIIDA) will provide the customer with the infrastructure to share these data streams close to real-time with remote services on a manageable, GDPR-compliant consent basis. AIIDA will be usable for value-stacking and can operate with multiple EDDIE-based, but also with non-EDDIE-based services. However, this will also give back the customer the sovereignity about which data on his premises are shared with whom and what value is being created based on that.
Together, the EDDIE Framework and AIIDA will enable interoperable reusing architectures and developments from the Smart Grid Architecture Model, truly European solutions and is intended to act as a future focal point for developments in the field through the Open-Source community.
The project aims to assist EU DSO Entity, ENTSO-E and SmartEn, amongst other organization in their efforts to standardize data exchange for retail markets, the utilization of distributed flexibility and energy-data – related business models. Being under the umbrella of the INT:NET Coordination and Support Action, it will also connect with initiatives like FIWARE, the Common Information Model for Electricity/Energy and help to prepare the grounds for a common European Energy Data Space.
Monitoring of the adoption of energy data-sharing
The Framework will provide an option to share anonymized, aggregated usage information with the project to get further insight on the adoption of data utilization in the areas covered.
Different challenges for different types of data holders
The 3 categories listed in Figure 1 – Grouping of data access challenges to get to a uniform interface require different approaches in accessing them and manage consents to source them in a data protection compliant way. This is why EDDIE groups them and prepares a uniform infrastructure layer, in order for data-driven services to share and value-stack, whilst keeping full transparency and control with the data subject.
A generic consent mechanism
The project aims to provide a uniform consent-provision experience to consumers across all data families to establish trust and foster usability. For In-House Data, this is quite challenging, and EDDIE will provide hardware and software solutions, as well as a mobile application to facilitate this.
Extensibility and future operation and development
Project EDDIE will just start with the data-sharing scope defined and regulated by the Implementing Acts for Interoperability following Article 24 of Directive (EU) 2019/944. Soon after this has been achieved and rolled out, the vision is to extend the pattern also to other processes that are currently under consideration also by legislation and regulation. Having sustainability and development over time as priorities, the project’s exploitation and sustainability strategy is directed towards creating an active, self-sustained and properly governed open source community.