Tech 10 November 2017Cecille de Jesus
Blockchain-regulated renewable energy in Germany taps on another decentralized resource: neighbouring houses
If you think blockchains and energy are inversely correlated, think again.
Tennet, a major power utility catering to the Netherlands and large parts of Germany, partnered up with clean energy battery supplier Sonnen to launch the first European blockchain-controlled power stabilization scheme. Using IBM’s blockchain software, Tennet and Sonnen are slowly integrating renewable energy sources into European power lines.
As clean energy sources are usually unstable, the project aims to manage and stabilize renewable energy supply by tapping into another distributed, decentralized resource: the neighbourhood.
The allegiance between the corporations and home owners, called sonnenCommunity, allows members to store energy for the community, and share it as needed—thereby significantly cutting down on wastes associated with the traditionally centralized supply source.
The project, which allows households to get involved in the energy cycle not just as users but as suppliers, aims to eventually eradicate the need for third party energy providers completely. The decentralization of energy supply helps members to be self-sustaining in terms of producing their own energy, and it could also bootstrap the entire community’s energy use while saving costs for everyone involved.
The sonnenCommunity is a community of sonnenBatterie owners who are committed to a cleaner and fairer energy future. As a member you can share your self-produced energy with other members of the sonnenCommunity. Since you are exclusively using energy from the community, there is no need for a conventional energy provider anymore.
The project has been on a pilot test run since earlier this year, and is now officially in a real-life application phase.
“The project is the first of its kind using blockchain technology and leads the way to the future integration of renewable energy sources. We clearly see a potential to develop new possibilities of flexibility through blockchain technology. Ultimately, this helps limit the use of expensive curtailment of wind turbines which is needed to stabilize the grid,” Tennet TSO GmbH board chairman Urban Keussen said in the announcement.
“As a grid operator, we are taking a new approach here to better integrate decentralized renewable energy sources and secure supply. At the same time we offer citizens the opportunity to actively participate in the energy transition.”
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