Enabling a data driven energy transition

5 Min Read

Altroleum is a London based technology company helping to address the biggest generational problem that we face as a society: The Climate Crisis.

It is hardly revelatory to comment that the climate crisis is problematic. Corporations, nations, municipalities and society as a whole have acknowledged that excessive emissions and pollution will be deeply damaging to society, the environment and the economy.

Thankfully, broad acknowledgement that the climate crisis is serious has been met with serious commitment to do something about it. Large corporations and sovereign states have made commitments to becoming net-zero by 2050.

In order to decarbonise at a macro scale, trillions of dollars of capital investment will be required. Capital investment is insufficient but necessary to solve the climate crisis. Both public and private investors should want to maximise their ROI in terms of both impact and finance; the key to unlocking good value is data.

At Altroleum, we believe that the visibility of data related to the climate crisis should not be a bottleneck for positive actors who wish to allocate capital to support decarbonisation.

To that end, we are delivering a data platform that acts as ‘a single source of truth’, providing instant visibility and reporting on data related to the energy transition, enriched by the latest machine learning technology.

The remainder of this article will highlight three of our most exciting USPs.

A short demo of the Altroleum platform

Live visibility

Often issues surrounding the energy transition and climate crisis are conflated.

The energy transition refers to transition of the energy sector from primarily fossil fuel based production and consumption to a system powered by sustainable options such as renewables. A successful energy transition may be the single most important component to resolving the climate crisis.

To that end, it can be argued that the greatest responsibility for solving the climate crisis lies with the largest oil & gas, utilities and chemicals companies.

Over the years, companies in these sectors have shown a good deal of competence in finding and validating new assets. In fact, in oil & gas jargon, finding and validating new assets is known as ‘Exploration’ and is a $300bn+ industry in any normal year. Detailed financial models are built supported by data that is both collected internally and purchased at great expense from external consultants and services. Of course, alternative assets are sensitive to a completely different set of cost drivers to conventional oil & gas assets.

The energy industry is far from the only industry where capital allocation is important. In many ways, the methods of procuring, processing and storing data in the energy industry are antiquated.

For comparison, in finance, data is often made available instantaneously via an online dashboard. Bloomberg Terminal is one of the most successful SaaS products of all time. It would be a seventies throwback for a trader or asset manager to wait to receive a monthly report from a consultant before executing a deal.

Our first USP is that our primary means of distribution is an online platform with instant, live visibility of non-traditional cost drivers for alternative/low carbon assets.

A unified, seamless experience

The market for data that is useful in navigating the energy transition is highly fragmented. Customers have their own operational data, and also purchase data from external consultants and services. It is not atypical for different business units within the same organisation to purchase the same data set multiple times. Even small organisations are inefficient at managing data and maximising its utility.

At Altroleum we are committed to maximising the visibility of data that supports the energy transition, and to do that we are building a ‘single source of truth’.

A key component of this is maximising customers’ visibility of their own data. We enable customers to securely add their own data to the platform, and manage permissions for sharing within their organisations and with partners and clients. This approach means that it is easy for customers to navigate their own data assets thereby accelerating workflows for existing staff. It also means that customers are less likely to purchase duplicate data. It is noted that customer data is secure and siloed and always remains the property of the customer and under their control. We also make it easy for customers to export data from our platform to use with minimal friction in their existing workflows.

Altroleum builds, manages and provisions certain key data sources to customers as part of our platform (renewables generation and pricing, carbon pricing, hydrogen pricing, meteorlogical data).

From Q1 2021, external data providers will be able to sell additional data sources directly to customers via the Altroleum platform.

Our second USP is a unified experience for all data related to the energy transition, which the customer can complement with their own data.

Machine learning

The status quo for data provision in the energy industry (reports from external consultants and expensive subscriptions to infrequently updated data services) is overdue for a revolution.

We have already described how our platform supplies instant, live visibility of non-traditional cost drivers for alternative/low carbon assets, but there is scope to go further, and deliver a data product truly fit for the 2020s.

Building Altroleum from the ground up has allowed us to incorporate cutting edge technologies in order to maximise the value of the data that our customers use. In particular, we are excited to pioneer the use of modern machine learning in our sector.

We enrich both our own data and our customers data with deep learning, delivered through our data platform.

The performance of our deep learning technologies is market leading. An example is our forecasting algorithm, which, when combined with a simple long/short trading strategy, outperformed natural gas markets by over 15% over a three-year back-test with Sharpe ratio ~2.

Our classification technology can be applied to assessments of project profitability, allowing customers to quickly test various scenarios.

Over the coming weeks we will publish case studies highlighting forecasting, data mining and classification use cases for our deep learning tools.

Moreover, starting in 2021, customers will be able to interact directly with machine learning models via a no-code interface, and adjust sensitivity to certain variables to test certain assumptions themselves.

Our third USP is the enrichment of data related to the energy transition using deep learning.

Altroleum is a data platform designed to maximise visibility, interactivity and usefulness of data related to the energy transition. We are excited to help facilitate the energy transition, and in turn contribute to solving the climate crisis.

Our product liberates data for our customers and allows them to be proactive in making the investments that are necessary to save the world.

Live visibility of data, aggregation of fragmented data sources (including customers’ existing data) and enrichment of data using machine learning are the keys to enabling our customers, and we are excited to serve them.

Petar is CEO and co-founder of Altroleum, building software to help businesses navigate the energy transition. Learn more about Altroleum by visiting altroleum.com, or get in touch with Petar here.

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