The Australian Government has committed over $20 million to develop the National Energy Analytics Research (NEAR) program as a partnership between the Department of the Environment and Energy, CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator. The NEAR program is the next phase of energy data analytics, building on the pilot Energy Use Data Model. The NEAR program is building an ongoing capability for cutting-edge data analytics that will improve energy forecasting and planning by unlocking the mysteries of Australian energy behaviour as we move towards an energy efficient future.
Why is the NEAR program needed?
The National Electricity Market is changing rapidly, driven by new consumer needs and technologies like rooftop solar. Planning for Australia’s energy future requires better understanding of this change. This depends on better data on how consumers use energy, with a need for improved access, availability, integration and research capability across consumer energy data. In recent times, the lack of sufficient energy use data has contributed to inaccuracies in forecasts of energy demand.
Currently, energy use data is fragmented across many data holders, is inaccessible or is not collected - creating challenges in getting a complete picture of energy market needs. The NEAR platform will serve as a growing repository of energy research and integrated data, providing a protected environment to bring together and share over a 100 energy datasets, many never accessible before and linked in new ways. NEAR also delivers an extensive research program of new cutting-edge data science to continue to develop datasets we’ve never had before. It will also help resolve the policy and planning problems.