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  • Joachim Lohse

How Utilities Are Using Blockchain to Modernize the Grid in Future



Selling solar energy to one another for putting each other's competency to test in waters has become a part and parcel of every neighbor in New York State. In Austria, Wien Energie, the largest utility conglomerate in the country, became a participant in a blockchain trial which aims towards trading of energy with two other utilities. While in Germany a power company is operating a pilot to check whether the blockchain technology can be used in consumer processes.

Blockchain has captivated the focus of the tremendously regulated power industry as it reinforces the revolution in energy sector wherein both the consumers and utilities will generate and sell electricity. Blockchain without any centralized authority could provide with a low-cost and dependable source of recording the financial or operational transactions to be verified throughout a distributed chain of the network. Unlike the industry of financial services, this capacity has induced some individuals to examine whether blockchain may have the potential to substitute a part of the utilities' businesses without discontinuing the services of intermediaries fully. But this outlook is way too farthest and superficial.


What Are Some State-of-the-art Concepts?

What is expected to occur is that blockchain will be the key solution to upgrading and enhancing centralized, legitimate systems with a disseminated hybrid system composed of an assortment of both micro grids backed by the disseminated energy sources like solar power and large power plans. Such type of decentralized energy system would be capable of delivering reliable and efficient energy that can easily be renewed.

This upcoming trend is to induce the industry to target the blockchain's capability to make the counterpart's energy trading in existence, although it's unsure how quickly the budding technology can be sizeable. For instance, in Brooklyn, N.Y. in blockchain microgrid project, every trading electricity participant had to make a huge investment in a computer with "node" blockchain for making their homes installed with solar panels to be capable to selling power to neighbors. The blockchain network handles and records the transactions with minimum human interaction. The "nodes" in the computers are required to authenticate and share the information for reducing the likelihood of downtime or data intrusion.

The likelihood is such that blockchain, may allow the occurrence of an integrated trading system that would enable the businesses to trade with the alternative of utilizing electricity during a specified period of time. For instance, selling off five minutes of unutilized power by a factory during downtime to another factory who is in need of supplementary power. In this way, the flexibility which trading grid provides brings the wider efficiency for grid operators.


Allowing Customers to Switch Power Suppliers

Switching of power suppliers by the customers is another method where blockchain could take a grip more quickly. However, the companies are carrying out pilot studies to examine the blockchain's efficiency for making current processes such as meter registration, more efficient and less costly. The deployment of a blockchain framework could permit customers to shift power suppliers consistently within a day and are geared to work with the data communications company, the centralized agency of meter data. Formerly, the switching process used to be a long drawn process.


Serving Smoother Electric Industry Processes

Finally, blockchain may produce existing electrical industrial procedures more efficiently by delivering it to be like the foundation stone for utilities “smart grid” management systems that directly analyze the network problems, emergencies and reconfigure in response to them. A decentralized energy exchange groundwork could organize applications which range from conforming to electricity trades to inspecting grid equipment, in fragment because such a groundwork has the capability to extend the life of equipment. This, in turn, enhances both the large and small earnings of the power generation system.


What to expect in the future?

To be certain, going alongside any new technology, blockchain remains unproven widely and relevant barriers appear to surface. In spite of that, it confirms to be scalable and dependable, blockchain technology may, in turn, expedite the change to what the energy industry coins it to be a "disseminated world" made up of both large and shorter systems of power producing for businesses, homes, and communities. In order to thrive in tapping the power of distributed generation potential and dealing with less foreseeable and more intense renewable sources, the industry's infrastructure first must become adept and less centralized.

As of now, blockchain may at first emerge to be a part of technological obstruction that the power industry should evade, it could confirm to be what exactly is needed to sustain with the ever-growing demand for electricity in lower-value blocks, smaller and at higher levels of frequency. Although there's always an enormous space for start-ups to enter and distort this industry, well-established utilities are perfectly positioned to examine and make strategic bets on the competent applications of blockchain technology. If they can grasp the moment, centralized occupants may result in to be real distorters, traversing the new period of decentralized power.

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