EDA – Energy Data exchange Austria
EDA is a decentralised data exchange infrastructure that is used for business processes across the entire Austrian energy sector. The activity started in 2012 by standardizing document formats, business processes and the data communication protocol for the supplier switching process. Over time, several further processes have been carried out over the EDA infrastructure: exchange of electronic invoices, meter data exchange, exchange of administrative data for the sharing of renewable energy between landlords and tenents, as well as the data exchange for offering and activating flexibility in the power grids (EDA Flex project).
In contrast to other countries, where a central datahub implements the data communication between process participants, Austria chose a decentralised way – together with PONTON as the service provider: Consequently standardise each and every aspect of data exchange, including the public key infrastructure (PKI), on-the-fly XML schema validation of business documents, exchange of participant profiles through a registry etc.
This way, a new participant can reach the existing 220 within one day by
- installing PONTON X/P Messenger as the communication endpoint
- configuring it using the standard EDA profile
- request and install a public key certificate
- publish the participant profile to the other participants.
Without a central operating organisation, EDA comes at a fraction of the cost for a central datahub. The combination of the high level of standardisation of business processes, document formats and communication protocols resulted in significantly reduced total cost of ownership of the energy data communication platform in comparison to other European countries like e.g. Germany.
Large participants (usually with more than 25.000 metering points) run their own installation of PONTON X/P (on premise or in the cloud). Smaller participants use Austrian SaaS vendors like Energy Services, SDK, Energy West or Fichtinger to host an application service platform which each uses a shared instance of PONTON X/P. Again other participants use a mapping service from EDA’s ebXML protocol to SMTP/S such that data integration can be done on an email-based interface, still maintaining the end-to-end security of ebXML and PONTON X/P.
EDA has been running in life operation for over 8 years. In 2019 the availability of the infrastrucutre was 100% during the service hours and 99,89% outside. One secret of the success of EDA is its bottom-up design: while usually requirements for the data exchange layer are driven by a single application process, EDA invested all brain capacity to empower the communication layer to support a variety of application processes on top. This way, extension cost is close to zero for an additional process. Finally, also PONTON’s expertise in standardisation and platform operation helped EDA becoming a success story.