Rotterdam, October 5 2017 – BlockLab, the field lab for blockchain technology that was opened last week, launches four innovation projects that produce new solutions for the energy market. The use cases concern offshore wind, the heat grid of the Rotterdam port area, peer to peer energy trade and secure use of smart meters.

Experts agree that a major challenge for the future (sustainable) energy grid is to optimize its flexibility and to accommodate decentralized energy production, storage and trade. This is why blockchain technology promises to become an important enabler of the future energy system, although its application is in a very early stage. With these first four innovation projects BlockLab aims to contribute to the acceleration of the energy transition.

Twenty proposals, four winners
A committee including scientists, DSO’s and blockchain experts selected four out of twenty proposals to receive funding for their prototyping stages. As a next step (spring 2018) at least two of them will also be supported in their first operational deployment. In no particular order, the winning proposals are:

Blockchain and the Heat Roundabout – by CGI and Eneco
Blockchain technology is to be applied for the administration of heat supply. The Eneco heat network will become part of the Heat Roundabout of South-Holland, a project that will ultimately serve 500.000 households in the Metropolitan region Rotterdam – The Hague. This prototype is a first step towards decentralized heat market, providing a 50% reduction on its overhead.

Blockchain & wind energy on the coast – by Clearwatts
Clearwatts uses blockchain technology to have players with different roles in the energy market cooperate. A blockchain platform will facilitate them with trustworthy market data, in a distributed ledger as a single source of truth. The first phase focuses on energy contracts between offshore wind farms and their customers.

Peer-to-peer blockchain transactions – by ToBlockchain icw. Engie and The Green Village
PowerToShare is a driver for peer-to-peer energy trade via blockchain, starting on a local scale. It includes the identification and certification of energy producers (e.g. solar, wind, bio-CHP), the settlements of bilateral transactions and balancing of the grid. PowerToShare will test-run in the Green Village, the sustainability field lab of the TU-Delft, in a collaboration with Engie.

Open Energy Network – by Intrinsic ID and Guardtime
This is an innovation that focuses on the safety of the system: how can smart meters securely store data in a blockchain? This is an important pillar for a blockchain based energy market, in which in its essence all partners have access to all data. How to ensure the authenticity of the sender (the smart meter) and its data?

Port of Rotterdam Authority, City of Rotterdam, Ministry of Economic affairs
Blocklab was founded by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the City of Rotterdam. With financial support from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, several hundreds of thousands of euros are invested in the energy projects, via a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) procedure. The prototypes will be delivered in the spring of 2018; practical applications are scheduled in Q3-Q4 of 2018.

 

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