Data Dilemma’s - Using Data and Digital Twins in Local Energy Systems: Opportunities & Challenges

Featured image

Decentralized energy systems and local energy communities can reduce grid congestion and may therefore play a significant role in the energy transition. However, energy communities need complex technical tools, usually offered by commercial parties, that use privacy sensitive data. This brings up questions around inclusion, access and ownership. How to ensure everyone has access to the systems and is included in the process? Who owns the data? And is the data handled in a discrete manner?

The Local Inclusive Future Energy (LIFE) project is also dealing with these questions. The project tests smart planning for energy demand and supply through a smart energy exchange platform in Amsterdam ArenApoort. Reinier Prins from Alliander will tell us more about the LIFE project, give a demo of the platform and dive into the encountered data dilemmas.

The LIFE platform uses a “digital twin” to simulate the exchange of energy. Our second speaker, Paul Strijp from the province of North-Holland, will elaborate on the conditions for responsible decision-making with digital twins in the energy transition. The opportunities of digital twins are nearly endless, but what are the implications from a democratic point of view? Building on this, Julia Jansen from Waag will reflect on how we can benefit from energy data, whilst at the same time keep control over our data as a community. She will present how open source development of software systems can be a means for civic communities to maintain control in the energy transition.


  • 15:50 – 16:00 Walk-in
  • 16:00 – 16:10 Welcome and introduction by Amsterdam Smart city
  • 16:10 – 16:25 Demo of LIFE project by Reinier Prins (Alliander)
  • 16:25 – 16:35 Paul Strijp (Province of North-Holland) and Allerd Nanninga (Rathenau Instituut) about the conditions for responsible decision-making with digital twins in the energy transition
  • 16:35 – 16:45 Critical Reflection by Julia Jansen (Waag)
  • 16:45 – 17:00 Q&A
  • 17:00 – 17:30 Wrap-up and networking drinks

About the Data Dilemma series
Data Dilemmas is a collaboration between Amsterdam Smart City and the City of Amsterdam’s Data Lab. Three times a year we explore the possibilities for using data and new technologies to address urban and societal challenges, with a focus on responsible digitalization. The goal is to use data to make cities more safe, clean and accessible. But what happens to all the data that is collected? Which dilemmas do we encounter when we collect (personal) data to improve the city? These questions are important for everyone: governments, knowledge institutions, companies, and civil society. Amsterdam Smart City would like to explore with you which decisions are needed for responsible use of data.

Reserve your spot via Eventbrite