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Digitalisation as one of the big Ds driving the energy transition

Digitalisation is a critical enabler of a more distributed and renewable electricity system that seamlessly integrates supply, storage, and flexible demand resources. Charlie Wilson co-authored a new paper published in Oxford Open Energy on the intersection between digitalisation, decentralisation, and decarbonisation – three of the big Ds driving change in the energy system. Using survey data from both the UK and Canada, the paper explored the viewpoint of those being affected by this energy transition – people – which brings in the fourth big D: democratisation. Public perceptions of the merits of democratisation varied widely, with the analysis pointing to the importance of local control, decision-making capacity, ownership opportunities, and associated benefits accruing to host communities of new digital, decarbonised energy technologies.

Download a pdf of the paper here.

Survey data shows public support for all four big Ds driving energy system change in the UK and Canada (∗ denotes statistically significant difference between countries) Source: Walker et al. (2024) Oxford Open Energy.

Citation: Walker, C., I. H. Rowlands, P. Devine-Wright, I. Soutar, C. Wilson, R. Gupta, H. Devine-Wright, J. Bishwokarma and R. Ford (2024). “The ‘Four Ds’ and support for Local Smart Grids: Analysis from national surveys in the United Kingdom and Canada.” Oxford Open Energy.