With the rising prosumer movement, growth of digitalization and demand for renewables, traditional centralized energy models are looking to new revolutionary energy exchanges.
In response, pioneering technology leader ABB has been collaborating with leading Italian utility Evolvere, using the blockchain technology previously developed with their partner Prosume, to help delivering transparent and secure peer-to-peer energy transactions.
Using the capability of ABB to deliver digital solutions through ABB Ability™ and ABB’s leading inverter portfolio, including UNO-DM-PLUS solar inverters and REACT 2 inverters with storage, the pilot has opened-up a new wave of possibilities for energy markets to explore new and transformative models toward smart grid environments.
Giampiero Frisio, Head of ABB’s Smart Power Business line explained: “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 neighbors, communities and the wider grid.”
“As a pioneering technology leader, with a range of digitally enabled sun-to-socket solutions, we are 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,” Frisio added.
Blockchain, a public distributed ledger, is used for storing, verifying and maintaining peer-to-peer transactions. It also has huge potential to disrupt the energy sector, offering a viable transaction alternative to traditional models.
It decentralizes the way transactions are made and managed by adopting a secured and trustworthy peer-to-peer approach, which reduces complexity and costs for customers (utilities, aggregators and the energy community overall). It also delivers high efficiency for consumers and providers, enabling fast execution and automatic payment for maintenance and other services.
This latest pilot between ABB and Evolvere further supports the claims that blockchain can be harnessed within energy markets and used within utilities and aggregators, to enable new business models.
Indeed, it 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. This is achieved thanks to ABB Ability™ platform enabling new digital solutions like the generation of smart contracts directly into the inverter. Such smart contracts offer greater transparency and security for transactions and present new possibilities for utilities to evolve their businesses.
Franco Giampetruzzi, CEO of Evolvere said: “We are 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. ABB is a high quality and reliable partner that supports our innovations in the blockchain space.”
Following the pilot, ABB will take the research one step further and investigate how it can ensure all its inverters in the same class are blockchain ready.
Frisio from ABB concludes: “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.”
ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader with a comprehensive offering for digital industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB is today a leader in digital industries with four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by its common ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s marketleading Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. www.abb.com