German industrial group Siemens has announced plans to deploy distributed ledger technology for the management of energy distribution networks. The goal is to transform the energy sector by providing blockchain solution that can improve the overall efficiency and transparency in the sector.
Energy Web Foundation
To help build these blockchain solutions, Siemens will be collaborating with the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), a global non-profit organization focused on accelerating blockchain technology across the energy sector. EWF, which has a significant team presence in Germany and the U.S, has a growing membership base that includes technology partners, corporate affiliates, and strategic investors. Its scalable open source platform blockchain platform is specifically built for the energy sector, allowing businesses to build and deploy their own solutions or energy infrastructure.
EWF has opened its platform for all types of companies – regardless of size, business or location, with first users already on board. The alliance boasts a broad range of partners, including Centrica, Exelon, Duke Energy, PG&E, Shell, Tokyo Electric Power Company, among others.
Blockchain in The Energy Sector
As an EWF member, Siemens will proactively explore ways blockchain can be implemented in the energy sector to deliver transactive energy applications, new producer-consumer use cases around distributed energy systems, and new forms of project financing. Siemens believes that by combining transactive energy applications with blockchain, it will be easier to transform the energy sector by transitioning to a decentralized, democratized, decarbonized, and resilient energy system.
Blockchain can enable transactive energy by supporting machine-to-machine transactions that can be integrated directly into complex grid operations. Distributed ledgers can also be applied to energy to manage data, trade energy and for storing and reconciling transactions. The end result is a more efficient and transparent peer-to-peer energy system that connects consumers, prosumers, producers, network operators, and other key stakeholders.
Besides joining the EWF, Siemens is also using blockchain technology to help its customers develop solutions and services that optimize alternative energy generation and consumption. The firm partnered with LO3 Energy in 2016 to combine microgrid solutions with distributed ledgers so that operators of photovoltaic systems can feed excess electricity into the existing local grid and receive payment directly from the customers.