Japanese utility firm Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced it will provide funding toward the operation of the Energy Web Foundation (EWF).The EWF is a non-profit organisation established by US environmental agency Rocky Mountain Institute and energy blockchain technology developer Grid Singularity to accelerate the commercial deployment of blockchain technology in the energy industry.
EWF is partnering with energy regulators, smart grid technology standardisation bodies and developers of smart grid solutions in developing, testing and deploying an open source energy blockchain technology.
TEPCO joins Centrica plc, Elia, Engie, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Sempra Energy, SP Group, Statoil ASA, Stedin and TWL (Technical Works Ludwigshafen AG) to raise part of the capital required by EWF to implement its operations.
In a press statement, TEPCO said it is joining the nine companies raise $2.5 million of the total capital required by EWF to meet challenges met by energy blockchain startups.
According to TEPCO, blockchain technology helps utility firms reduce the costs of integrating renewable energy with grid networks by providing a platform for improved communications between distributed energy resources within a grid network.
Hirokazu Yamaguchi, executive general manager of global innovation and investments at TEPCO, said: "Distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar, wind and electric vehicles are a growing trend in Japan as well as the rest of the world.
"We believe that blockchain technology has the potential to play a significant and critical role in the transition to a more secure, resilient, cost-effective, and low-carbon distributed energy paradigm, and that joining EWF will help us to offer new and improved services to TEPCO customers."
The utility said it believes blockchain technology helps energy providers reduce the need for working capital in wholesale market gas or electricity transactions. [TEPCO connects 10 million AMI units and sensors].
Development and rollout of energy blockchain tech
Meanwhile, EU transmission system operator (TSO) Tennet partnered with a utility and energy solution providers to deploy smart grid pilots in Germany and the Netherlands.
Tennet is partnering with energy storage solutions provider Sonnen to deploy the project and improve Germany's grid system whilst in the Netherlands, the TSO is collaborating with renewable energy utility firm Vandebron.
Tennet said it is collaborating to demonstrate how blockchain technology can be used to help grid operators manage distributed energy resources (DERs) to sustain the reliability of grid networks.
Under the pilots, IBM will develop a blockchain network which will be used to verify and communicate the performance of decentralised energy resources to enable real-time management of DERs and grid network in line with energy demands. Read more...