Energy Web is to build a prototype blockchain identity register for Germany’s energy market and pilot renewable energy credit tracking in US.
The two projects mark another step in the expansion of the Energy Web blockchain infrastructure in the energy sector and build on other pilots and rollouts under way.
The project with Germany’s federal energy agency DENA and other industry players is to design and construct a digital registry for distributed energy resources across the country.
The aim is that energy assets such as thermostats, solar PV systems, batteries and electric vehicle charging stations can undertake automatic registration with a decentralised ledger of identities, enabling their utilisation for grid services such as virtual power plants and frequency regulation.
“There are still a number of tasks ahead of us for the successful implementation of a decentralised and digital energy system,” says Philipp Richard, energy systems and digitization lead at DENA.
“Digital identities are very important to ensure that the automatic exchange of information from millions of producers, storage systems and consumers is secure and reliable. One promising solution is an identity ledger that is being tested on blockchain technology. It could provide great insight into constructing a digital market design.”
The project, which goes under the acronym BMIL (blockchain machine identity ledger), is one of the three major pilot initiatives of DENA’s new Future Energy Lab.
Rollouts of similar systems by Energy Web are under way with Austrian Power Grid in Austria, with Elia in Belgium and 50Hertz in Germany. 50Hertz also is a partner in the current project.
The BMIL will draw on the Energy Web Decentralised Operating System alongside the Parity substrate and KILT protocol for digital identity. As such it is slated as the first energy blockchain project to leverage a multi-blockchain architecture.
Renewable energy credits
The project with Nevada public utility NV Energy aims to explore the use of blockchain technology in tracking and certifying portfolio energy credits that are used to determine renewable portfolio standard compliance.
The pilot, a response to a regulatory proceeding with the state Public Utilities Commission, is expected to show how a blockchain-based solution can support the entire energy credit lifecycle with a transparent audit trail from registration of renewable energy assets such as rooftop solar and their owners to the sale, transfer and retirement of the credits.
In the pilot, existing rooftop solar customers would be able to automatically record their generated energy credit data to the Energy Web Chain.
In the future, a next generation of blockchain-enabled smart meters could further streamline and enhance the credit trading process for new rooftop solar customers.
“This experience will give us a better understanding of how open-source blockchain technologies can create value for our customers, reduce our internal costs, and provide access to portfolio energy credit value to more customers who generate renewable energy across Nevada,” says Amy Lahav, senior project manager of renewable energy and origination at NV Energy.
Nevada’s portfolio energy credits are created at the kilowatt-hour level, unlike the typical renewable energy credits at the megawatt-hour level, making them well-matched to the output from residential solar PV systems.
The pilot due to start later in the year will be undertaken with technology developer Blockchains LLC with its IN3 blockchain connectivity software for the Internet of things interfacing to the Energy Web technologies.