It's a truism that Big Data creates big results, especially if that data is delivered in real time. Look no further than the maps on your smart phone to understand the value created by mashing up real-time data from many different sources. (Take a quick tour of the Smart Cities Council Apps Gallery to see more examples.)
Experts have long predicted that real-time energy data would create a bonanza of new energy services. The first problem was getting the data -- we needed smart meters to collect it. Now that many regions have smart meters in place, we've encountered a second issue -- getting organizations to collect and share the information.
That's why the Council is so pleased to see Lead Partner Enel at the helm of a new European initiative called "Flexiciency." Eighteen partners from 10 EU countries will work to use smart meter data to its fullest potential. The aim is nothing less than "a virtual European market place, where the data collected by distributors through smart meters, traders and retailers is available to those who want to offer services to customers," said Paola Petroni, Head of Network Technologies at Enel Distribuzione.
In the early days of the Internet it was impossible to predict the killer apps that would emerge (and continue to emerge) from the sharing of data. Likewise, it's hard to say what new energy services and conveniences will arise from Flexiciency. What we do know, however, is that the race is underway to figure it out, led by Europe and Enel.
For more on open data…
Smart Cities Open Data Guide