Combining open data to facilitate sustainable energy use
‘The teams behind the apps’ is a series of videos made by the EU Datathon finalists. Get to know this year’s teams and their apps over 12 episodes, twice per week, in the run-up to the competition finals. On 20 October, the teams will pitch their apps to the jury that will select the winners. The audience will also have a chance to support their favorite team in the Public Choice Award vote. Register now to follow the finals online!
The CROZ renEUwable team is competing in Challenge 1: ‘A European Green Deal’. Their app ‘renEUwable’ combines environmental, social and economic data analysis to offer specific, personal recommendations for sustainable energy use. The team behind this app – Darko Benšic, Marina Bednjanec, Petar Matic and Vinko Puškar – joined us for a short interview during which we talked about the app, the idea that led to its creation and why they decided to participate in the EU Datathon.
How are you doing with the app? What’s the status?
Currently, the app is in the active development phase. Our focus is on having all back-end workflow up and running for the finals. At the moment we are working to define and test data architecture and machine learning algorithms. We already have defined data structures, which were created in the data warehouse. Also, we are working on building automated/reproducible dataflow pipelines to obtain and merge data. Through thorough research, we identified various useful open data sources. As for the front end, we are working on dashboard creation and overall user interface / user experience design. From a technical standpoint, in general, we are building an architecture that can handle all data issues from ingestion to processing regardless of the scale of usage. So far, the development process has proved to be both challenging and exciting.
How did you come up with the idea for this app?
Being a part of CROZ, we have an inherent inclination for open-source technology and projects. Last year we applied to the EU Datathon, but our project wasn’t selected. Nevertheless, we liked the whole Datathon idea and, since we are data enthusiasts, we decided to participate again this year. Taking advantage of our previous experience, we analysed our last project and decided to go with a narrower focus this year. We chose the project on the basis of several criteria that we recognised as important. We wanted to try to address something big, a critical problem. We wanted to contribute to the solution in our way, by providing a free app that can facilitate action and the sharing of information on really important issues such as the environmental crisis. As our EU Datathon app shows, persistence does pay off, so we won’t give up that easily on saving the planet.
Why did you decide to take part in the EU Datathon?
We hope that our app will become a handy tool for anyone interested in environmental issues and renewable energy sources. The goal of the app is to serve as a first-hand consultant in building a more sustainable world. What sets the renEUwable app apart from the rest is that it considers each use case to be unique. On the basis of personal preferences and information from the user, the app generates concrete recommendations that help the user switch to more sustainable energy alternatives, giving them estimates on financial and energy savings and potential investments. Also, the app is not just some sort of advanced calculator, it was conceived to act as a friend on your journey to living more sustainably. It will ask for daily, weekly or monthly follow-ups, register and evaluate the advancement of your journey, and provide feedback and useful tips and tricks.
To find out more about the CROZ renEUwable team, watch this 1-minute video.