UK Power Networks – which owns and maintains electricity networks across London, the South East, and East of England – has partnered with local governments to collate 100 datasets from several sources into its open data portal. It is expected that having these relevant datasets available in one place will help local authorities reach net zero goals more quickly.
“Stakeholders told us open data sits at the very center of the transition to net zero and enables them to make the best choices for their local communities. Access to the right data, in the right format, is crucial to driving targets and open data like this is unrivaled in the industry. We hope to empower local authorities to take climate action now, giving them the data and digital tools they need to make informed decisions,” said Lynne McDonald, Local Area Energy Planning Manager at UK Power Networks.
The data covers areas such as energy generation, transport and mobility, heat and buildings, land use, wind speeds, flood zones, and socio-economic factors. The datasets are continuously updated, and the majority are open and free to use. Some datasets are available upon registration or request and a few are offered via paid subscription.
Theo Blackwell, London’s Chief Digital Officer, commented: “UK Power Networks’ enhanced Open Data Portal supports the Mayor’s push for better data to meet London’s net zero targets. Together with City Hall’s new Planning Datahub and coordinating utility works to ‘dig once’, planning departments can now actively plan for the environmental impacts and contributions of new developments.”
Socio-economic data, including employment rates, age, and health conditions is included with the aim of enabling local authorities to plan in areas such as: encouraging investment in facilities like electric vehicle charging points; improving air quality; and delivering less expensive and greener energy for homes and businesses.
Thomas Day, Head of Energy and Low Carbon Programme at Essex County Council, said: “Good data is essential to plan and target net zero programmes – whether for retrofit, renewable energy, electric vehicle infrastructure, or decarbonising heat. All of these are vitally important challenges not only for net zero but also for growth and leveling up.The initiative by UK Power Networks to bring data together in to one place and make it easier for local authorities to plan our work, engage with local communities and start to explore ‘whole area’ approaches in a more planned and strategic way is vital, to help us with unlocking the potential benefits of the transition to net zero for our residents and our business community.”