Data Analytics is now starting to be applied in large scale management of energy supply and usage.
An example is the Energy Management Operation Centre set up by the New York Power Authority in Albany, NY, monitoring the actual, real time usage of over 3,000 public buildings in the state of NY.
Each building provides real time data to the centre and all data are analysed by a tool provided by the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, NYEM; reports from data analytics are fed back to each building manager to finely tune energy utilisation aiming at a 20% reduction of the energy bill by 2020.
The monitoring helps in cutting cost and reducing CO2 emission, suggests preventive maintenance and, interestingly, is seen as a way to increase jobs in the green energy field: by sharing state wide energy data SMEs can offer new services (developing new applications) both to the State and to companies taking care of building management. Another facet of the data economy. The data analytics tool is also expected to be used in the private sector.
NY State is not alone. In other parts of the world policy makers are at work defining rules to decrease energy usage and the first step is monitoring what is going on, which means collecting data and analysing them.
In Singapore since April 2013 the Energy Conservation Act (politicians are not really physicist, energy is always conserved, no matter what you do...) requires major energy users, basically industries (that in Singapore account for 50% of power consumption) to monitor energy use and share the data.
Interesting information can be found in a series of studies by ENEL, the Italian Power Company, analysing energy usage in cities based on monitoring data, including Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, Shanghai, Stockholm, Turin. Again they show how data help in reducing power consumption, CO2 emission, energy spending and provide potential for economic growth.