Digitalization is an emerging trend revamping the energy landscape and enabling progress toward continuous energy efficiency improvements. It is argued that digitalization, from its various dimensions, shall be considered as part of policy development to ensure overall net benefit to the system and its participants.
Recognizing this, authors of the document Digitalization: enabling the new phase of energy efficiency (GEEE-7/2020/INF.3) called on the subsidiary bodies of the Committee on Sustainable Energy to join efforts in exploring benefits and obstacles of digitalization of energy system and on the Committee on Sustainable Energy to recognize this area in its future deliberations, and proposed establishment of a dedicated task force under the auspices of the Group of Experts to take charge of the related activities. The document was presented at the seventh session of the Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency.
The Task Force on Digitalization in Energy was established in 2020, with the 2021-2022 mandate to enable constructive subject-matter technical and policy dialogue to help bridge the gap between academic research, industrial innovations, and policy needs and achieve higher levels of efficiency in the energy system.
In its proceedings, the Task Force identified buildings as one of the largest opportunity areas for digitalization: the latter is argued to have the potential to reduce energy use by as much as 10 per cent globally by 2040 if applied throughout buildings value chain and life cycle. In view of this, the Task Force developed an evidence-based document Improving Efficiency of Buildings through Digitalization – Policy Recommendations from the Task Force on Digitalization in Energy (ECE/ENERGY/GE.6/2021/5) that elaborates on the role that application of digital technologies could play to increase energy efficiency in buildings and aims to raise awareness of policymakers and stakeholders of related benefits, risks, uncertainties, and trade-offs. The document was presented at the eighth session of the Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency.