The most exciting and innovative new technological innovation is Blockchain technology. Companies around the world are beginning to learn and are currently exploring how blockchain technology can be used to bring new services to market and improve the capabilities of their existing operations and businesses. This is especially true in the energy and utilities market.
How do you define blockchain?
The core of the blockchain is a ledger of transactions distributed throughout the network, identical copies of which are maintained on the computer systems of all network members. Any member can make new entries and view previous entries. Transactions are organized into blocks, which are recorded sequentially in a series of blocks called a “blockchain.” The links between the blocks and their contents are protected by cryptography and cannot be forged. Once a transaction is recorded on the blockchain, the data cannot be deleted. This means that a blockchain contains an accurate, time-stamped, and verifiable record of every transaction ever made, and the network is not dependent on a central authority.
Benefits for Energy and utility companies
Blockchain is a useful technology for decentralized processes that require large networks and trust relationships between all participants. It also offers significant benefits for the energy and utilities market thanks to its extensive network of energy and utilities companies, (maintenance) subcontractors, (local) suppliers and users.
One key area where blockchain technology could revolutionize business and disrupt the system is smart grids. In recent years, for example, more and more people have switched to electric vehicles. But the supply and demand for charging infrastructure has not kept pace. If the entire population of an entire street came home at 6 p.m. and immediately plugged in their vehicles, the power grid would collapse. This can be prevented by making the grids smarter and allowing everyone to plug in. One user might declare, “I want cheap energy, so I’ll wait a while,” another might declare, “I do not really care about the cost, but I want to charge my car as soon as possible,” the third might provide energy through the solar panels on his roof.
To use smart grids, a market for the demand and supply of energy is needed at the local level. Instead of creating a centralized market, smart contracts built on blockchain could be used to manage supply and demand and enable peer-to-peer trading. Each user can enter their preferences into a decentralized ledger (the blockchain) without an intermediary.
There are some hurdles that must be overcome. First, devices must be able to communicate with each other over the Internet. In addition, usability is an issue. It will take many small experiments to develop an intuitive interface for users to set their preferences in their smart contract. In addition, the two blockchains that are currently most widely used, Bitcoin and Ethereum, are not yet capable of handling the large volume of transactions that would be required to implement smart grids for a large number of users. It could be a long time before this type of technology becomes commonplace.
There are many other applications that could be deployed in the coming years. Smart meters are already in use in many homes. In the past, smart meter information sharing has been seen as a threat to meter owner security. Blockchain also offers a potential solution. It is capable of providing accurate data to the provider without the need for a direct connection to the meter of the particular user. If needed, the smart meter owner can prove to the provider with his private key that the data originates from him, and the protection of the blockchain can prove that the data is true and has not been altered. The owner has control over his personal data.
Ownership of gas stations, pipelines, and other utilities can change over time. New owners need to know about maintenance records, but maintenance is typically outsourced to smaller contractors, and registration could be an issue. The blockchain can be used to document the maintenance work performed by each contractor, providing an accurate picture of the current condition of a property or part of the infrastructure, and also logging who owns the property at any given time. In the event of any problems, the relevant authorities can immediately access the information as it is stored in the shared blockchain.
Brugu in Blockchain Technology
Blockchain has the potential to streamline any process that requires recording data or transactions, and data is shared across a multitude of people. At Brugu, we believe that blockchain technology will change many industries for the better in terms of transparency, efficiency, and digital trust. This is why we work on proof of concepts for many of our clients. It’s why we’ve invested so heavily in Blockchain technology.
If you’d like to get involved in its development, we invite you to contact us to talk about your ideas
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