In order to adapt to ever-changing regulatory, political, cost and consumer demand environments, the energy sector needs cloud computing. The new draft act may boost the process of implementing cloud computing solutions, but what changes will the amended regulations bring? – Wojciech Wrochna, Partner, and Head of Energy at Kochański & Partners explains.
Energy in the clouds
More and more entities from the energy industry manage their resources using cloud computing. The global market of solutions enabling management digitisation is estimated to reach USD 64 billion in 2025 (compared to USD 52 billion in 2018).
The key function of cloud computing in the energy sector is the centralization of infrastructure management. Specialist display units provide not only an insight into the IT and business environments, but also enable checking the status and availability of applications, and monitoring major events. This is particularly important for entities from the energy sector to swiftly respond to infrastructure analyses and generate reports.
Cloud solutions also offer a number of other benefits to the energy sector, in particular optimisation of company performance via the fusing of physical operations and IT infrastructure whilst reducing costs. These also streamline the internal decision-making process allowing companies to more quickly adjust to market fluctuations and energy demand changes.
Importantly, investments in IT infrastructure are not required to implement cloud computing in the energy industry – it can be done relatively quickly and seamlessly, maintaining business continuity during the process.
Opportunities and challenges
Complex or, on the contrary, missing legal regulations constitute a major barrier to a broad use of cloud technology in the energy industry.
One solution to the above may be the amendment to the Energy Law Act of 1997, which is presently underway, introducing – inter alia – smart metering provisions and establishing the institution of a so-called energy market information operator.
“The draft act provides for the obligation of a distribution system operator to install remote reading meters connected to a remote reading system at metering points. Such installation should be completed by 31 December 2028. The amendment also regulates the metering data and information transfer obligations of energy system operators and energy trading companies towards an energy market information operator. This will enable the correct assignment of individual events and metering information to specific consumers,” states Wojciech Wrochna, LL.M., Partner, and Head of Energy, Natural Resources & Chemicals at Kochański & Partners.
Cybersecurity is a key enabler for any technology project. Therefore, energy system operators and an energy market information operator must apply technical and organisational measures ensuring that processed metering information are protected, including against loss, damage, destruction or unauthorised access.
“The new regulations will contribute to the further development of the energy market and ensure uninterrupted access to electricity, enabling consumers to pay for electricity according to actual consumption, whilst metering data will be properly protected. Another positive effect of the proposed solutions will be an improved electricity consumption efficiency in households and, ultimately, a higher energy efficiency of the economy,” adds Wojciech Wrochna.