GE Power Digital has joined a study seeking to evaluate the use of blockchain technology for energy industry applications.
The study – spearheaded by German energy agency, Deutsche Energie-Agentur (DENA) – will determine 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 are being keenly viewed by the energy sector.
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.
“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.”
GE and other study participants have already 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.
ShutterStock/German Energy Agency GmbH/GE Newsroom