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Blockchain technology can improve grid system resource utili

Release time:2019-12-28 15:03Popularity:

       North Star Solar Photovoltaic Network News: Recently, blockchain has become a hot word again, and the application and development trend of blockchain technology in the energy field has also set off a wave of discussion. Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is a global non-profit organization that aims to unlock the full potential of blockchain technology to accelerate the creation of a decentralized, low-carbon, resilient energy system. EWF is a joint venture established by the Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity. It is a global energy blockchain alliance dedicated to providing digital DNA building blocks and scalable open source blockchain platforms for world energy to meet energy sector regulation , Operations, and market needs. Jon Creyts, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and Jesse Morris, chief business officer of EWF, recently accepted an exclusive interview with this reporter to introduce EWF-related businesses and discuss the application of blockchain technology in the power field.

(Source: WeChat public account "Energy Research Club" ID: nyqbyj)

Energy blockchain has two most valuable application scenarios

Reporter: Please tell us in detail about the current practical application scenarios of blockchain technology in the energy field.
Jesse Morris
       We believe that the two most valuable application areas of blockchain technology in the global energy sector are concentrated in:
       The first is to improve the traceability of electricity, enabling market participants to purchase various digital green goods with attributes of environmental rights, including the International Renewable Energy Certificate (I-REC), certified green electric vehicle charging behavior or low carbon Fuel (such as biogas), etc.
       The second is to release the potential of demand-side elasticity. Grid operators can use user-side energy resources (such as distributed power generation, energy storage, load management, etc.) to reliably and cost-effectively based on traditional generation sources (such as centralized power stations) Expandable way to balance grid supply and demand from both supply and demand sides.
       This is also the conclusion that EWF has worked with our members over the past three years. We researched and tested more than 100 application cases of blockchain technology in the energy sector, developed dozens of proofs of concept, and supported commercial applications of these concepts.
       To support the development of enterprise-level solutions in these areas, we are transforming the technical means of EWF from a pure blockchain structure to an Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS). This system A series of open source software and standards including the Energy Web Chain that we released in June 2019. EW-DOS effectively utilizes autonomous decentralized identifiers, a series of decentralized registries, messaging services, and integration with traditional information technology systems to promote billions of users, assets, grid operators, electricity vendors and service providers Between transactions. We believe that this operating system can become the backbone of the “Internet of Energy” open source and security, supporting the management of physical assets and financial aspects of the power grid in the future.
       So far, the EW-DOS system has been successfully applied in two markets worldwide. EW-DOS system and Thai National Petroleum Corporation (PTT) have established a renewable energy market platform that is the first in the industry. This platform will be based on the Energy Web Chain and leverage our EW Origin open source software development kit family. To create solutions that comply with the International Green Certification Standard (i-REC) and meet local needs. The EW-DOS system, in cooperation with the Austrian Grid Corporation (Austrian Transmission System Operator), is helping to balance the grid by integrating small-scale grid edge users into the wholesale electricity market.

Reporter: Please describe the characteristics and attributes of the EWF energy network chain, and how EWF members use this platform.
Jesse Morris
       The Energy Network Chain is a public, proof-of-authority (PoA) blockchain that is operated by more than 25 companies in 14 countries across 17 time zones. It provides native tokens (EW tokens, also called "tokens") and a set of templates for creating all kinds of traceable digital assets. The energy network chain is highly scalable, managed by some of the largest market participants in the energy sector, and has high energy efficiency through the PoA consensus mechanism. The energy network chain is created based on the public Ethereum blockchain, which is currently the most widely used public blockchain in the world. Compared to any other blockchain, Ethereum has the largest developer ecosystem in the world.
        Most EWF members use the energy grid chain to support the aforementioned applications in traceability and grid resilience. On the technical level, the blockchain is mainly used to locate digital identities, tokenize renewable energy assets and / or commodities, and perform settlement. Some organizations also use the blockchain to store data and / or to decentralize Send information in a customized way.
        Technology cognition becomes the key to influence the development of energy blockchain

Reporter: Has the development of blockchain technology and algorithms encountered a bottleneck? What improvements have been made so far? What needs to be improved in the future?
Jon Creyts
       The biggest problem in deploying digital solutions using distributed technologies, including blockchain technology, is not the technology itself, but the market's perception of the technology. Most grid operators' understanding of the deployment and application of digital technologies is still in its infancy, and their understanding of more complex systems involving blockchain and decentralized technologies is even more limited.
       The key to solving this challenge is to help core stakeholders, such as regulators and power companies, identify available digital resources by continuously popularizing blockchain technology and its application knowledge in the market, and help them explore how to use these resources Incorporate solutions into their systems. This requires independent third-party agencies to provide them with a variety of options and introduce the advantages and problems of each option, rather than selling them specific specific solutions.
       It is also important to set common standards and platforms to support user experimentation and application development. This grassroots platform should be constructed and maintained as a public service, so that enterprises can carry out actions on the basis of the platform.
       Although in order to overcome long-term problems such as scalability, blockchain technology has been in a state of rapid development and change, but the current blockchain technology can already support enterprise-level applications. At EWF, popularizing knowledge of blockchain technology and its applications is one of the most important tasks in our cooperation with energy sector companies, including by providing advanced training courses to help senior managers in energy companies understand the latest technologies in this field, And through technical training, the internal IT department of the power company learns how to write smart contracts and how to work with decentralized identifiers. However, the scale of our institution is still very small. To realize the full benefits of blockchain in the energy sector, we need to work with more industry stakeholders to jointly improve the market's awareness and understanding of this technology field.

Reporter: Will the application of blockchain technology cause energy waste, such as a large amount of power consumption in data centers? If yes, how to solve this problem?
Jon Creyts
       Because early blockchain technology platforms such as Bitcoin and Ethereum consume a lot of energy, blockchain technology has gained a bad reputation of wasting energy and consuming large amounts of electricity. These platforms use a process known as "mining" to increase the computing needs to help ensure the security of the network, resulting in high energy consumption. However, the operation of blockchain technology does not necessarily require such high energy consumption. We can improve energy efficiency through different algorithm designs.
        The energy grid chain uses some clear and known validators to ensure network security and uses a Proof-of-Authority (PoA) consensus mechanism to accept transactions. Through the special design of the system, we have the ability to support the global blockchain power grid system, including billions of devices, with electricity equivalent to only one city block.
        Global Energy Blockchain Demonstration Project Begins, Blockchain Technology Helps Global Energy Transformation

Reporter: Please tell us about the current status of industrial policies that combine the blockchain and energy fields in European and American countries.
Jesse Morris
       Blockchain technology is still in the initial deployment stage, but various demonstration projects have also appeared around the world. For example, in Europe, we partnered with Austrian Power Grid AG to integrate small-scale customers into the wholesale electricity balance market. Belgian company Elia is testing similar technologies at the transmission level. In Southeast Asia, Singapore Power trades clean energy certificates based on blockchain technology platforms, while Thai National Petroleum Corporation PTT has also established the industry's first renewable energy market platform based on blockchain technology. In the United States, we are deploying digital infrastructure, supporting the voluntary and compulsory renewable energy certification market on the East Coast's PJM (one of the nation's major power exchanges), and in California supporting grid operators to track and certify green electric vehicles Charging behavior.
        Generally speaking, any region that has introduced policies that support renewable energy and / or local power market development can become a stage for the value of blockchain technology.

Reporter: What is the relationship between blockchain technology and the global energy transition?
Jon Creyts
       By providing a secure, scalable, and unobstructed way to connect billions of active devices to the grid, blockchain technology can help accelerate the global energy transition.
       Historically, the operation of the power grid relied on centralized operators and / or power companies to build large generators (such as typical fossil fuel power plants or hydropower stations) and transmission lines to transmit the generated power to users. This system is not efficient in capital utilization because power companies need to build backup systems to meet peak power demand, or to prevent large-scale power outages during periods of greatest power demand throughout the year. There may be problems of overbuilding. As a result, the average utilization rate of the global power grid is less than 50%.
       Through blockchain technology, we can safely and conveniently incorporate distributed energy resources (including residential or commercial building rooftop photovoltaics, electric vehicles, controllable temperature regulators, etc.) into the grid balancing process. With a large number of distributed resources, a "virtual power plant" can be created. They are able to provide the same services as centralized power plants, but are largely owned by individuals and businesses, not power companies. Users can benefit from their own assets rather than assets owned by the power company, which greatly reduces the operating costs of the system. Blockchain technology enables us to coordinate the charging or discharging of these assets, and users who own these assets can purchase these services for their own use, or receive returns by providing these services. As a result, the utilization rate of the power grid has been greatly improved, and the ability of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean energy assets to be incorporated into grid operations has been significantly improved.

Reporter: The application potential of blockchain technology in the energy field is constantly being tapped. What is the future development trend?
Jon Creyts
       As mentioned earlier, we believe that the greatest value of blockchain technology in the energy sector is manifested in two application areas: improving the traceability of the energy sector and achieving the deep elastic value of user-side resources.
        To seize the opportunity of the application of blockchain technology in the energy field, the following points must be considered: In the next ten years, the cumulative expenditure of power end users in the field of distributed energy resources and electric mobility will reach $ 830 billion and 7 trillion, respectively. US dollars. By 2030, approximately one-third of the world ’s installed capacity will be at the “behind the table” client. With the shift of this large-scale investment, the interconnection of equipment will be greatly improved; by 2030, 3.5 billion distributed energy resources connected to the Internet are expected to be connected to the existing power grid.
        Together, these assets have the potential to be a solid foundation for a resilient and flexible decarbonized energy system on a global scale. The biggest potential of blockchain technology and other decentralized technologies lies in enabling market participants to digitally operate, integrate and coordinate these new assets.

The original text first appeared in `` Electric Power Decision and Public Opinion Reference '' No. 47, December 13, 2019
Original Title: Exclusive | Rocky Mountain Research Institute: Blockchain Technology Can Improve Resource Utilization Efficiency of Power System

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