Energy digitalisation tops the agenda of a workshop of the Energy Community, Eastern Partnership and European regulators

22 May 2019

Digitalisation of the energy sector was the focus of the Eastern Partnership workshop in Minsk, Belarus, jointly organised by the Energy Community Regulatory Board (ECRB), the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) and the European Commission.

This event is the 8th annual Eastern Partnership workshop for energy regulatory bodies. For the first time, the workshop was also co-organised with the Energy Community Regulatory Board (ECRB). The workshop paves the way for closer cooperation among energy regulatory bodies of the Energy Community Contracting Parties, remaining Eastern Partnership countries and European regulators. Focusing on digitalisation of the energy sector and cybersecurity, the workshop addressed the need to adjust regulatory policy to adapt to the new realities that an increased use of data and digital technologies entail.

Energy digitalisation must be in the consumer interest

Pointing to the recent CEER consultation paper "Dynamic Regulation to Enable Digitalisation of the Energy System", which examines the implications of digitalisation for the energy sector and for consumers in particular, CEER President, Dr Annegret Groebel said: “Regulators should enable digitalisation in the consumer interest as consumers need to be both empowered through digitalisation and adequately protected against risks”.

Cybersecurity calls for increased cooperation

On the one hand, digitalisation provides opportunities to increase the productivity of the existing energy system and introduce new products and services that impact energy demand. On the other hand, it also brings new challenges to ensure that consumers are empowered and adequately protected, data is secure and regulation keeps up to date with cybersecurity developments.

ECRB President, Mr Giorgi Pangani added: “In an increasingly digitalised energy world, the room for designing a regulatory framework purely at the national level becomes smaller and the need for cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation is even greater”.

Dr Manuel Sánchez, Team Leader for Smart Grids at the European Commission, in relation to the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package (Clean Energy Package) noted that: “The Clean Energy Package has set an ambitious regulatory framework that facilitates this transition and places the consumers in the centre of it all. At international level, this is an unprecedented step forward, and it is best reflected on issues regarding data management and new processes towards the digitalisation of the energy sector while serving the interests of the end-users and of the system as a whole.”