Ecologic Institute was asked by IASS to give a lecture on "Legal aspects of big data in the energy sector" at the ENavi Summer School 2019 on Digitalisation in the Energy Transition. Its participants consisted of persons with a strong interest in sustainability and energy topics at the beginning of their professional careers. The lecture presented the legal issues arising from the use of Big Data technologies in the context of energy supply.
Big Data is a term for the currently developing techniques and technologies of collecting and analyzing huge amounts of digital data. In the energy sector, such technologies are important for smart grids, smart meters and smart markets. Issues like data ownership, data protection as well as cybersecurity remain legally unclear. From an antitrust law perspective, it is interesting how to prevent the concentration of too much market power in few corporations (comparable to the "Big Five"). The lecture also covered the question what legal framework is needed to ensure the sustainability of digital technologies with a focus on the energy sector.