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Offshore energy digital strategy group to drive North Sea growth & modernisation

Thursday, July 28, 2022


• Crown Estate Scotland, Marine Management Organisation, the Marine Scotland Directorate of the Scottish Government, North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), Ofgem, The Crown Estate all signed up to take part

• Digitalisation crucial to energy security and net zero

• Collaboration will hasten introduction of complementary developments


The Offshore Energy Digital Strategy Group (DSG) yesterday (27 July) held its first meeting, starting off the exciting project of maximising North Sea potential by bringing together leading organisations to combine their data and digital efforts.

The DSG was set up to implement the key recommendations of the Digitalising Offshore Energy Systems report, published by Energy Systems Catapult earlier this year, of which the first was to set-up an industry-wide group.

The other two main recommendations were:

Delivering a common data toolkit - Establish a common data toolkit to facilitate controlled and automated data sharing across the sector

Driving Cross-sector Digitalisation - Coordinate digitalisation efforts to enable efficient investment and capture cross-sector requirements

These were backed up by four workstream recommendations intended to address key issues:

Enabling Whole System Planning - Create a whole system view of existing and planned infrastructure, aligning different data layers to provide a forward view of development requirements

Advancing Data Coordination - Establish a Task Group to drive interoperability of data portals across the sector and promote the discoverability and reuse of existing data through the development of a data portal roadmap

Leveraging Asset Data - The offshore energy sector should increase the utilisation of existing operational and asset data, using the Open Data Triage process mitigation techniques, and standardised data sharing agreements to manage risks

Offshore Emissions Data for Net Zero - Enable monitoring of Net Zero targets and advanced emissions tracking by leading on the provision of high-resolution and digitised emissions data monitoring and reporting.

The seven core members of the DSG will be supported in the project by expert contributors including the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC), Technology Leadership Board, Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) and RenewableUK.

Nic Granger, NSTA Director of Corporate, said:

'Data is a critical asset in the North Sea and even more so as we undertake the transition to renewable energy.
'This is an exciting project which brings together key organisations working alongside each other in the North Sea to unlock maximum value from data and digital.'

Annie Breaden, Head of Policy for Crown Estate Scotland, said:

'We welcome the establishment of the data strategy group to enable a collaborative approach to the sharing of digital data. This will help address challenges and opportunities in the offshore energy digital and data landscape, enabling a more efficient approach to the delivery of net zero.'

Tom McCormack, Marine Management Organisation Chief Executive Officer, said:

'Ensuring decisions are made on the best available evidence and data is one of MMO's key strategic principles. We're pleased to be part of the group and look forward to working with all partners to maximise the use of data and help deliver digital solutions that support offshore energy.'

Scottish Government Minister for Environment and Land Reform, Màiri McAllan MSP said:

'I am pleased the Scottish Government and Crown Estate Scotland are collaborating in this group, to deepen our understanding of how we can become more effective and efficient as we develop offshore renewables as part of our net zero journey. Harnessing digital technology and data sharing will be critical in supporting our Blue Economy and the just transition, and strengthening the evidence-base for sustainable management of the offshore energy sector.'

Doug Cook, Ofgem Deputy Director Digitalisation and Decentralisation, said:

'The North Sea is one of the UK's most valuable resources and it will play a vital role in the low carbon energy transition.
'Effective use of data and digital assets relating to the North Sea will be a key element of moving away from importing costly foreign gas to using more homegrown, decarbonised energy supplies and we're pleased to have been invited to be part of this new group to spearhead this effort.'

Chelsea Bradbury, Marine Evidence Manager at The Crown Estate, said:

'The first coming together of the Offshore Energy Digital Strategy Group underlines how data and digital technologies will be key in driving greater collaboration across the UK energy sector and maximising the sector's contribution to net zero. We are excited to be part of this new and important initiative.'


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