14.03.2018 | SONNEN GMBH

Smart local grids with blockchain - sonnen is participating in the NEMoGrid project

sonnen is participating in the EU project NEMoGrid, which is testing the future energy trade between individual households via blockchain.

Wildpoldsried, 14 March 2018 - sonnen is continuing to promote the use of blockchain technology in the energy sector and as part of its efforts is participating in the EU NEMoGrid project. Various companies and research institutes from Germany, Switzerland and Sweden are taking part.

The project examines the economic and technical impact of electricity trade between households within a region, for example when selling their self-generated solar power to other households.

One objective is to find out what impact different electricity tariffs at different times, or direct peer-to-peer trade have on electricity costs, as well as the impact on the stability of local distribution grids. To this end, different scenarios will be simulated, e.g. how direct trade in a given region impacts electricity prices. In addition, the most promising scenarios will be tested in practice in test regions in Switzerland and Sweden.

The project will thus provide insight into how flexible electricity prices and grid stability can best be combined at the local level. The findings can then be transferred to larger regions.

“The goal of energy supply must be to generate as much clean energy as possible right where it is being consumed. If households can sell their own power to their neighbours, this influences local electricity prices and the power grid. Ideally, people would trade in energy and at the same time stabilise the local grids, thus avoiding expensive grid interventions whenever possible. Blockchain is the right decentralised technology to control such a self-balancing system in real time”, says Jean-Baptiste Cornefert, Managing Director of sonnen eServices.

An energy storage facility, for example, would enable the cheap storage of energy during times of high output and thus lower prices. At the same time, this would ease the burden on the grid. The power would then be available during times of high demand and high prices. These flexible prices would thus also have a stabilising effect on the grid.

The advantage of using blockchain technology is that both the households and the distribution grid operators have transparency with regards to every kilowatt hour that is traded between participants. At the same time, transactions are transparent and there are no additional costs for electricity trading.

The energy system of the future is decentralised and based on renewable energies. This will not only result in new business models, but also in new challenges for grid operators. Since power is increasingly generated by households or small, private producers, it will initially have an impact on the distribution grids. This project thus primarily aims to optimise grid stability at the basis.

Also participating in this EU-funded project are the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden Württemberg (ZSW - Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung) in Stuttgart, the TU Chemnitz (Professorship in General Psychology and Work Psychology), Slock.it in Mittweida, the municipality of Wüstenrot, as well as European partners such as Upplands Energie, Ngenic.se and Sustainable Innovation from Sweden or Fachhochschule Südschweiz (SUPSI).