UC4

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Low carbon energy and energy efficiency policies

General description of use case

The motivation for this use case is the significant role of policies, laws, and regulations in catalyzing the transformation of the energy system towards greenhouse gas and energy efficiency. They provide the ground for accelerating research and innovation, incentivizing behavioral changes, and safeguarding the necessary transformation processes. Through their texts and specifications, policies, laws, and regulations are not only defining the space for the application of energy technologies and low carbon energy materials, but they also provide the framework for market activities in general. An example is the enabling of new actors to appear on the energy market (e.g. prosumers, community energy, and energy cooperatives). Currently, a new role for data on low carbon energy and energy efficiency policies is emerging. The need to provide documentation on compliance with regulations is starkly increasing in complexity as integrated monitoring and assessment across fields and economic sectors are increasing. This not only refers to international compliance requirements (e.g. National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, Progress Reports for Sustainable Development Goals), but also to the level of companies whose produces have to adhere to given standards and documentation has to be provided for the entire supply chain (c.f. Ly et al. 2015 on a review of business process compliance approaches). Machine-actionability of relevant policy databases from local to global scale is therefore key for automated tracking, compilation, and inter-comparison with peers. Here, new business opportunities are arising. Overall, the state about the application of FAIR principles is still in its infancy. Openness is by nature less of an issue for this use case, but a specific challenge originates from mixed data formats, which include texts as well as number formats. Examples of databases from which EERAdata starts the use case activities include the IEA policy & measures databases, SETIS research, and innovation data, ResLegal, JRC in-house methodology for Monitoring R&I in Low-Carbon Energy Technologies, InnovationDB or activities, and tools developed in H2020 project ODYSSEE-MURE

List of selected databases

During the first workshop (see notes from Day 2), the following databases were selected to analyze and improve their compliance with FAIR and Open data principles:

Name of database Short description Reasoning of choice Current state of FAIR/O principles Target of FAIR/O to achieve within EERAdata
COMETS [1] The COMETS Inventory aims to track European Collective action initiatives (CAIs) for the energy transition. It is being developed as part of the EU Horizon 2020 COMETS project. The Database currently contains around 3700 entries of CAIs with information on their Legal form, area of activity, address, membership numbers, financial aspects, etc. It further includes roughly 7000 entries on energy production units owned by the CAIs, with information of the date of installation, location, energy type, installed capacity, etc. One goal in building this inventory is to build a knowledge base for well-informed policy development on European and national levels. We own the database and therefore have it easier to exercise FAIRification and opening activities. The Database if further still in development, allowing FAIRification already in the initial phases of the database development, compared to retrospectively FAIRifying already existing databases. 0% FAIR, as still under development. Currently only accessible locally by the COMETS consortium. Current issues:
  • Defining relevant initiatives: varying legal forms in each country
  • Clear definition of area of activities
Provide all administrative and structural metadata. To a certain degree provide provenance information. Issue regarding provenance information will be the technical question of how to link the provenance information to the actual database entries. Descriptive metadata: develop ontology for metadata.
IEA Policy Database [2] Database of policies and measures thematically related to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and support the development and deployment of renewables and other clean energy technologies. It contains data from IEA/IRENA Renewable Energy Policies and Measures Database, the IEA Energy Efficiency Database, the Addressing Climate Change database, and the Building Energy Efficiency Policies (BEEP) database, along with information on CCUS and methane abatement policies. Data are collected from governments, partner organizations and IEA analysis since 1999. • A popular, recognized, and world-wide database hosted by a reputable institution. • Since we are not able to analyze all the databases that we would like to - the selection of the IEA Policy database would indirectly allow us to take into account several other, selected databases because it contains data from: IEA/IRENA Renewable Energy Policies and Measures Database, the IEA Energy Efficiency Database, the Addressing Climate Change database, and the Building Energy Efficiency Policies (BEEP) database, • Cross-use case relevance, as it contains policies and measures also for buildings efficiency (UC1) and for power transmission and distribution networks (UC2). F - good; A - good; I – several problems have been identified (The database contains a description and metadata. Metadata are always available on IEA Policy database webside in English, but the document is linked to the page where it was published. So the language availability of a document depends on the publisher. Practically, many times the documents are available only in national language. Sometimes there is no link to the source document. For publications that are a transposition of EU law, there are no links to relevant EU documents. Update date information is not associated with a local page, so there is no possibility to check at the source, if the policy has been already updated. Metadata does not meet the DC standard.) R - bad, because of the issues described in the interoperability point Provide links to the source documents and related publications that improve contextual knowledge about the data. Provide link to the local page when there is an update date information. Expand the metadata to meet the DC standard at least.
EUR-Lex [3] EUR-Lex is online database that provides the official and most comprehensive access to EU Law and legal documents such as treaties, legal acts from EU institutions, preparatory documents related to EU legislation, EU case-law, international agreements, EFTA documents, references to national case-law related to EU law. EUR-Lex has access to all editions of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) since the first of December 1952 • It is available in all of the EU’s 24 official languages • It is updated daily, which confirms the validity of the documents • Each document in EUR-Lex is supported by detailed information such as: relations with other legal documents, case-law interpretations, dates of adoption or entry into force etc. • It is the open and highly recognizable European Union’s database directly related to policy • Most documents in EUR-Lex, regardless of their language, receive a unique identifier - CELEX number, so all documents have a designed structure and each type of document corresponds to a so-called “a descriptor”. F - good, A - some problems identified (There is a login option on the page, however no noticed a restriction on access to data for the guests. Not sure, if metadata are accessible when the data is no longer available) I: problem identified (There is no vocabulary documentation) R - good Provide a vocabulary documentation. Resolve doubts about metadata accessability.
JRC database hub [4] The JRC Science Hub aims to gradually integrate and aggregate all of the European Commission's science related activities, tools, laboratories, facilities, databases and networks. The inventory is wide range of the compilation of databases development of software and modelling tools. Published on the basis of open data principles with clear descriptions for each entry. The tools and databases are categorised by name and acronym, but can be filtered by research area, keyword and JRC institute responsible for the coordination of the particular entry. It contains, inter alia, databases related to energy and transport and climate • It’s the open and highly recognizable European Union’s database. • It’s data interpretation is highly dependent on changes in the legal and policy frameworks across European Union. • Enhances the transparency and openness of the JRC and further enables the open access policy of scientific research data. • The information and links provided in the metadata are maintained in distributed and heterogeneous information systems. • Sources of the database are coming in a variety of European languages, all brought together in an English database. • Is cross-use case relevant, as it contains policies and measures also for other use cases. F - good; A - good, but many times page with metadata has no SSL certificate; I – some problems can be identified (The database contains a description and metadata. Metadata are not always actual and sometime in national language, it's collecting data hub); R - ok, but it could be better because of the issue described in the interoperability point Ensure up-to-date metadata and encryption (https)

Metadata assessments

Databases above were assessed with respect to their current meta practices. The table below summarizes the current state and issues identified during WS 1:

Name of database Type of metadata provided Extend of metadata provided Level of implementation of FAIR/O principles Frameworks for metadata used Technical implementation of metadata
COMETS Inventory Administrative - partly (source of information, Tracking of updates); Rights - to be defined soon None, but intended to have: Deep descriptive metadata by ontology None none, but aiming for ontology currently excel headers, but RDF intended
IEA Policy database [5] administrative, descriptive, rights, structural Administrative - intrinsic; Descriptive - extrinsic; Rights - intrinsic and extristic (separate document is also available); Structural - intrinsic F1: yes, F2: no (not even the DC standards), F3: yes, F4: yes, A1 - yes, A1.1: yes, A1.2: ? (there is a login option on the site, however no noticed a restriction on access to data for the guests), A2 - yes, I1 - no, because of the problem with metadata, I2 - no, I3 - no (Sometimes there is no link to the source document. For publications that are a transposition of EU law, there are no links to relevant EU documents. Update date information is not associated with a local page, so there is no possibility to check at the source, if the policy has been already updated.), R1: no, R1.1 - yes; R1.2 - no; R1.3 - no (not even the DC standards) thesaurus LOD and plain text
EUR-Lex [6] Administrative, Technical, Descriptive, Structural, Rights Administrative - intristic, Technical - intristic, Descriptive - extristic, Structural - intristic, Rights - intristic and extristic (separate document is also available) F1: yes, F2: yes, F3: yes, F4: yes, A1: yes, A1.1: yes, A1.2: ? (there is a login option on the site, however no noticed a restriction on access to data for the guests) A2: not sure, I1: yes, I2: no, I3: yes, R1: yes, R1.1: yes, R1.2: (Meta)data are associated with detailed provenance, but not found a machine-acceptable format R1.3: yes Therausus LOD, RDF, plain text
JRC database hub [7] Administrative, Descriptive, Structural, Rights Administrative - intristic, Descriptive - extristic, Structural - intristic, Rights - intristic and extristic (separate document is also available) F1: yes, F2: partly fulfilled (a lot of metadata are available, but they are not always actual), F3: yes, F4: no, A1 – yes, A1.1 - yes, A1.2 - no, A.2 - yes, I1 - yes, I2 - no, I3 – yes, but update date information is not associated with a local page, so there is no possibility to check at the source, if the source document has been already updated, R1 - yes, R1.1 - yes, R1.2 - yes, R1.3 - yes Thesaurus plain text, RDF, LOD, xml, csv