Four consortia have developed a working prototype in which blockchain technology is used for the energy market. They have worked on this for the past six months, with support from and under the direction of Blocklab, the Rotterdam field lab for blockchain technology. The four products focus on the heat market, offshore wind farms, smart meters and consumers wishing to trade self-generated electricity.
According to many experts, a major challenge for the future (sustainable) energy grid is to organise as much flexibility as possible and to facilitate decentralised energy generation, storage and trade. Therefore, blockchain technology appears to be an important potential enabler for the future energy system, however, its application is still in its infancy. With these four first prototypes, BlockLab wants to contribute to the acceleration of the energy transition.
Blockchain and the Heat Roundabout - by CGI and Eneco
Blockchain technology is used for heat supply administration. The Eneco heating network will become part of the Heat Roundabout South-Holland, a project that will eventually serve 500,000 households. The prototype is an application that Eneco and various heat suppliers use to build up one reliable administration instead of keeping everything separate and having to check each other. Emphasis has been placed on the safe management and sharing of company-specific trading data.
Blockchain and wind energy - by Clearwatts
Clearwatts uses blockchain technology for price information in the wind market. In collaboration with the German blockchain developers BigchainDB and Spherity, a platform has been built on which price-relevant information from all stakeholders comes together. The platform simplifies the administration, but is also the starting point for more innovation: it forms the basis on which blockchain developers can develop new applications for the market.
Blockchain for a peer-to-peer energy market - by TOBLOCKCHAIN, in collaboration with ENGIE and The Green Village.
TOBLOCKCHAIN is working on a blockchain network for a peer-to-peer energy market in which consumers, companies, network operators and energy suppliers work together. The company has expanded its basic technology with various applications in which batteries, solar cells, homes and offices exchange energy data. Among other things, a Proof of Origin module has been developed that validates the origin of energy. The live demo of PowerToShare is running in The Green Village test environment at TU Delft.
Reliable smart meters - by Intrinsic ID and Guardtime
Intrinsic ID has developed a technology that allows microchips to demonstrate their unique identity - and therefore also that of the devices in which the chips are installed. With the help of the Blocklab programme, they have made their technology applicable for use with smart electricity meters and for data exchange via blockchain technology. Such application would mean that not only the data technology (blockchain) is completely safe, but also the input from the hardware used: 'this energy is actually supplied/consumed'.
The four prototypes were developed as part of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) tender, which was financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Municipality of Rotterdam. The programme is directed by Blocklab, which was established by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Municipality of Rotterdam, with support from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). Two of the four projects will also receiving funding and support to validate the prototypes in practice. The winners of this second tender round will be announced later in May.
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