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ABB is working with Italian utility Evolvere on how to use blockchain technology to deliver transparent and secure peer-to-peer energy transactions.
The companies are running a pilot project that focuses on residential solar. ABB’s head of Smart Power Business, Giampiero Frisio, said: “We recognize that the way people consume and harness their energy is changing.
“Prosumers, who use their own photovoltaic systems, are looking at how they can not only produce and use the energy they create, but also review how they can then share any excess energy between neighbours, communities and the wider grid.”
He said ABB was “keen to work with like-minded organizations such as Evolvere to test the potential of blockchain technology in solar systems, which will give us a powerful platform for future energy sharing solutions”.
ABB said the pilot project not only “supports the claims that blockchain can be harnessed within energy markets and used within utilities and aggregators, to enable new business models”, but that it also demonstrates “how blockchain-ready inverters with built-in digital capabilities can potentially allow utilities, aggregators and energy cooperatives to cut CAPEX and OPEX project costs”.
Following the pilot, ABB plans to take the research one step further and investigate how it can ensure all its inverters in the same class are blockchain ready.
Frisio explained: “The Evolvere project has allowed us to develop viable and proven solutions for the market in anticipation of new dynamics and regulatory frameworks coming in to place for blockchain technology. We are excited to be on this journey as we write the future of energy.”
Evolvere chief executive Franco Giampetruzzi said the company was “committed to spreading the advantages of distributed energy generation through smart grid technology to enable homeowners to realize just how close we are to sharing energy with other consumers”.
The use of blockchain in the energy sector will be explored at POWERGEN Asia and Asian Utility Week in Malaysia in September, and also at European Utility Week and POWERGEN Europe in Paris in November.