Zug, Switzerland (Oct. 13, 2020) — Germany’s federal energy agency, Deutsche Energie-Agentur (DENA), has selected Energy Web to design and construct a digital registry for distributed energy resources (DERs) across the country in partnership with more than 20 industry players. The project will enable energy assets in Germany, such as thermostats, solar PV systems, batteries, and electric vehicle charging stations to undertake automatic registration with a decentralized ledger of identities, allowing their utilisation by the German grid for a range of services such as virtual power plants and frequency regulation.
Earlier this year Energy Web announced rollouts of similar systems on the Austrian grid with Austrian Power Grid and in Germany and Belgium with transmission system operators Elia and 50 Hertz.
According to Philipp Richard, energy systems and digitization lead at DENA, “there are still a number of tasks ahead of us for the successful implementation of a decentralized and digital energy system. Digital identities are very important to ensure that the automatic exchange of information from millions of producers, storage systems, and consumers is secure and reliable. One promising solution is an identity ledger that is being tested on blockchain technology. It could provide great insight into constructing a digital market design.”
The prototype solution will leverage the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS), open-source software developed specifically to address the digital infrastructure requirements of modern, decentralised energy grids. EW-DOS uses a combination of technologies including blockchain to cater to the requirements of energy system operators, utilities, and consumers. This will also be the world’s first energy blockchain project to leverage a multi-blockchain architecture. The Energy Web stack will be used alongside the Parity Substrate client and the KILT Protocol for digital identity.
“Our work with Energy Web to bring energy infrastructure into the next digital age is critical to Parity Technology’s vision of a decentralized Web 3.0,” said Dr. Gavin Wood, CWO of Parity Technologies. “The fact that DENA selected Energy Web for this work is a strong validation of our blockchain-building framework Substrate and the overall tech stack we have developed together over the past few years.”
Six weeks ago on 24 August, the DENA unveiled the Future Energy Lab, an umbrella for several nationwide digital innovation initiatives spanning blockchain and artificial intelligence. Initially the Future Energy Lab includes three major pilot projects: a blockchain machine identity ledger (BMIL), a CO2 emissions visualization, and a smart contract register. Energy Web is leading the technical solution for the BMIL.
“This is an incredible development, not just for Germany but for the global energy sector,” said Jesse Morris, CCO of Energy Web. “Now we have the power sector of the fourth-largest economy in the world taking decisive steps toward a digitalized, decentralized future.”
The BMIL project partners include Parity Technologies (the company behind Polkadot and Substrate), BOTLabs (the company behind the KILT Protocol), Riddle & Code, and 50Hertz. The group has already kicked off and started to design and implement the technical solution.
KILT Protocol provides the identity layer based on decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials. As KILT is built on Substrate, runtime upgrades are possible without forking the chain, features can be added as they are developed, and it seamlessly connects to the Polkadot Network.
“As the energy sector continues to digitalize and decentralize with distributed energy resources, asset identity becomes more and more important. Decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials are key components of a broader decentralized technology solution to support the energy transition,” said Ingo Rübe, CEO of BOTLabs.
“In the journey to a decentralised energy system and as a part of the BMIL project, RIDDLE&CODE will connect two of its lighthouse projects in the energy sector to support the DENA-initiated blockchain-based machine ID registry. The first project is done in partnership with Austria’s leading utility provider, Wien Energie, and focuses on P2P energy trading within local energy communities. The second project, which is a result of collaboration with S1Seven GmbH, is based on a digital notary solution that securely tracks CO2 emissions along metal supply chains,” added Sebastian Becker, CCO of RIDDLE&CODE. “In order to connect these projects with the BMIL registry, EW and RIDDLE&CODE will leverage their innovative blockchain infrastructures, namely the professional services layer of IPDB Foundation’s open-source stack on our end.”