Technology - 12/January/2020

Open source software to speed up energy transition

Open source software can facilitate sector coupling through vehicle-to-grid or building-to-grid technology

Two years ago, Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT decided to make a radical change in the way it developed its data platform. “The one we were using was provided by a vendor, but we decided it was not working fast enough and did not incorporate the features we needed,” says Loek Bakker, head of TenneT’s information management office.

The TSO built its own cloud-based data platform using open source software in which the original source code that provides instructions to computers and other electronic devices on how to run applications is made freely available and may be altered and redistributed. Thanks to this decision, TenneT has access to the “greatest and latest” in big data analytics to help interpret a vast quantity of data and perform tasks such as forecasting renewable energy generation and operating and maintaining the grid.

TenneT is talking to other TSOs to explore opportunities for joint data platform development. While proprietary software solutions are available for data platforms, big data analytics is progressing fast and updates can be made more quickly with open source software, which has a wider base of developers, speeding up the development of new applications. Since the original source code can be modified, it also allows greater flexibility to customise software. ...

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