The release of the new energy security strategy underscores the importance of energy data, as well as the ability to share this data, in order to deliver energy security and Net Zero 2050. 

Here we explore how good quality, secure and shareable data underpins two major targets outlined in the strategy. We also outline why data is important to support developments in other areas of the strategy that receive mention, but are not yet subject to specific targets. 

In future, we would be keen to see similarly ambitious targets instituted for development of energy efficiency (reducing energy demand is the fastest route to reducing emissions, increasing resilience and benefiting consumers), onshore renewable generation, and grid management.

Data will enable the UK to meet new targets around offshore wind and hydrogen

Offshore wind

“Our ambition is to deliver up to 50GW by 2030, including up to 5GW of innovative floating wind.”

Why data access is essential to meeting this target

  • Data will be vital to support planning and environmental impact assessments, ensuring resources are appropriately sited and constructed in a manner with minimal environmental impact. The strategy includes a commitment to reduce “consent time from up to four years down to one year” and separately to establish a “fast track consent route” – data will be vital to enabling planning applications to be assessed rapidly while retaining rigour.
  • Data will also be vital to support transmission networks across the UK to assess, plan and deliver new connections required to integrate the boom in offshore wind to the national grid.


“Doubling our ambition to up to 10GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, subject to affordability and value for money, with at least half of this coming from electrolytic hydrogen.”

Why data access is essential to meeting this target

  • Data will be key to assessing where new hydrogen production facilities are sited, particularly if paired with large renewable generation resources such as new offshore wind.
  • Data will also support scheduling and buying excess green power for use in electrolysis.
  • Data will further underpin commitments to design “new business models for hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure” by 2025.
  • Finally, data be key to exploring and evaluating potential use cases for hydrogen, particularly in hard to abate sectors such as chemicals, steel, and aviation.

Data will enable further development of energy efficiency, onshore renewable generation and grid management

Good availability and sharing of data additionally underpins three other areas of development for which the strategy indicates support, but for which specific targets have not yet been articulated. In addition to making the most of the benefits of data in these areas, Icebreaker One encourages the government to produce ambitious targets against which progress can be measured.

Energy efficiency

The strategy outlined existing support mechanisms to improve adoption of energy efficiency measures, such as the Boiler Upgrade scheme and zero-rating VAT on energy saving materials. 

Why data access is essential to achieving this

Better quality and use of data can also support the uptake of energy efficiency measures, for example by:

  • Enabling home and building owners to more clearly assess what measures are required in specific buildings and the financial and carbon impacts of different measures (individual or combination).
  • Encouraging the financial sector to better understand the demand for and financial profiles of different measures, supporting increased availability of finance.
  • Supporting installers to provide quicker and more bespoke quotes in a cost effective manner.
  • Enabling government, industry and educational bodies to invest in skill-building in areas for which growth in demand is predicted (e.g. heat pump installation).

Onshore wind and solar

The strategy adopted a supportive tone with regards to enabling more build-out of wind and solar, including by addressing planning mechanisms that have restricted technology adoption in recent years. 

Why data access is essential to achieving this

To ensure the uptake of these technologies is sped up, data will be essential to enable:

  • Effective planning and construction of onshore wind in Scotland, as well as empowerment of onshore wind-supporting communities in England to accelerate new projects.
  • Improved and accurate knowledge of the UK’s microgeneration asset base, including at domestic level.
  • Targeted grid reinforcement and build-out of new connections where required to enable more wind and solar to come onto the grid.

Networks, storage and flexibility

The strategy indicated prioritisation of two core features: “anticipating need because planning ahead minimises cost and public disruption; and hyper-flexibility in matching supply and demand so that minimal energy is wasted”. 

Why data access is essential to achieving this

Data will be key to facilitating these developments by:

  • Supporting the new Future System Operator to fulfil its forthcoming duties with regards to system balancing, planning and strategic oversight.
  • Enabling network digitalisation to support efficient and cost-effective management of existing assets.
  • Driving anticipatory network planning and build-out in a manner that is appropriately targeted and cost-effective
  • Enabling smart assets and automation services to deliver flexibility, including at a granular level, and supporting market drivers of those services such as flexible pricing and time of use tariffs.
  • Permitting more inclusion of different energy storage mechanisms in the grid, including smart charging and dispatch to support minimal energy wastage.