Elia Group launches multi-year test of blockchain energy market applications


Belgium transmission operator Elia Group and blockchain non-profit Energy Web are partnering to test the promise of blockchain in its operations.

The two organizations plan to work together on multiple fronts to test and validate the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS) in TSO markets. EW-DOS is an open-source stack of decentralized digital technologies.

One area is to develop understanding of the potential of decentralized identifiers (DIDs) for a more decentralized electricity system. DIDs are an identifier that enable a verifiable, decentralized digital identity. Potential use cases include integrating siloed markets such as electricity and mobility and streamlining asset registry management for distributed energy resources.

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Another is to improve the tracking of green energy and services. As green energy grows, logging the creation, ownership and retirement of guarantees of origin in near real time will become more important to guarantee the match between production and consumption.

The third area of work is technical expertise and support for Elia Group’s new DLT Lab, which is aimed to further advance the company’s blockchain domain expertise and internal capabilities.

“It is our societal duty to work with all market parties in order to operate the system with lowest costs and to put in place the building blocks that will bring the benefits of the energy transition to the consumer,” said Kai Schmied, Elia Group Innovation Manager. “The development of capabilities in distributed ledger technology or other digital technologies will allow all participants to manage the complexities of decentralized flexibility while delivering more value and comfort for consumers.”

Elia Group and EW are currently designing the first project, which will focus on leveraging electric vehicles and charging stations in operating reserves and frequency response markets. The results should become available in 2021.

Elia Group is one of Europe’s largest TSOs with operations in Belgium (Elia) and northeast Germany (50Hertz). The company was a founding member of Energy Web and its innovation arm has been active in exploring blockchain’s potential in the energy sector. In 2018 Elia Group conducted a proof-of-concept on the Energy Web Chain test network and has hosted an EW Chain validator node since its launch in June 2019.

Energy Web is a global non-profit developing an open source blockchain platform and infrastructure for the energy sector.