Vodafone

Vodafone Business has partnered with blockchain consortium Energy Web Foundation to optimise the integration of renewables and distributed energy resources (DERs) with the grid.

The partnership plans to accelerate the use of IoT and blockchain technologies to securely and efficiently connect DERs such as wind turbines, batteries, heat pumps, and solar panels with grid networks.

SIM-centric blockchain technology (SCB) will be combined with IoT connectivity from Vodafone Business to create secure IDs for energy assets.

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Similar to the way telecom operators securely identify mobile phones using SIM cards, the partnership will enable energy grid players to recognise distributed energy assets connected to their power grids.

The ability to identify and validate distributed-generation assets in the smart grid is essential to maintain its stability.

Vodafone is Energy Web’s first strategic partner from the telecom sector as part of the consortium’s efforts to partner with various stakeholders to decarbonise the grid.

Recent research from Gartner estimates utilities are already grappling with more than 1.1 billion IoT endpoints last year, such as smart meters, heat pumps, batteries, and electric vehicles.  Vodafone expects its IoT communications solution to play a more important role in the years ahead, as power grids around the world increasingly digitalise and decentralise.

However, EU utilities to severely reduce blockchain spending through 2023 due to the COVID-19 crisis according to the International Data Corporation.

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“We are seeing the convergence of multiple sectors in making the energy transition happen—the energy sector, of course, but also automotive, telecoms, and even finance. From our perspective, the energy sector can only evolve so fast and so far without taking into account IoT connectivity,” said Walter Kok, CEO of Energy Web.

Erik Brenneis, director of IoT at Vodafone Business, adds: “As the number of decentralised, new-generation, low-carbon devices grows, so does the need for them to be securely connected regardless of their location.

“This connection needs to be simple and secure, ensuring assets are easily able to be connected to, and managed by, energy and communication networks around the globe. At Vodafone Business IoT, we believe that technology and connectivity can be used to help protect the planet and improve people’s lives. We are proud to work together with Energy Web to make this a reality.”