GE Power Joins Study on Blockchain
GE Power Digital has joined a study to evaluate the use of blockchain technology for energy industry applications. The study – launched by the German energy agency, Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – will investigate whether blockchain applications can be operated economically and reliably in energy industry use cases.
Blockchain is a way to store and exchange data via a simple, distributed, digital ledger. Using this technology, transactions are verified, validated and compiled into blocks in real-time and can then be made autonomous. Unlike alternative digital ledger technologies, blockchain requires no intermediaries. It is distributed, thereby forming a single source of truth environment for any data and value transfer.
Because of these characteristics and the potential value they bring, blockchain’s applications continue to expand, including within the energy industry. The German energy industry is quickly turning into a development hub for blockchain technology due to the growth of distributed energy and the potential for microgrids. According to a 2016 dena survey of energy executives across Germany, more than 80% of respondents believed that blockchain will be a game changer or that further dissemination is likely.
Dena’s study, entitled "Blockchain in the integrated energy transition," will explore the added value of blockchain compared to alternative systems and determine its technical and economic limits. GE and other study participants have identified use cases – including asset and management and energy trading – and will conduct simulation studies around them. The results will be published by dena in 2019.
"At its foundation, blockchain offers the best conditions for the exchange, validation and documentation of valuable data in an integrated energy system," says Andreas Kuhlmann, dena’s chief executive. "We have come to a point where it is necessary to verify whether the technology’s potential can be implemented in practice from a technical, economic and legal standpoint. The energy system is a critical infrastructure that must work securely and be protected by digitisation at the information and communication technology level. Blockchain technology can help with that – we want our study to show precisely how."
"The world’s most powerful utility in 2025 may not exist today. At the very least, it does not operate today as it will in the future. Blockchain is rapidly evolving and has the potential to be an enabling technology for the future grid, and as an industry we should continue to explore its applications," noted Steven Martin, chief digital officer for GE Power. "By participating in dena’s study, we will experiment to identify the exact qualitative and quantitative value add of blockchain in enabling a decentralized, efficient and intelligent grid."
For updates on the study progress, visit www.dena.de/de/blockchain.
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