GE Power Joins Blockchain Study To Explore Its Potential In Virtual Power Plants

Energy techniques company GE Power has joined a blockchain study to evaluate the use of the technology for energy industry applications.

GE Power, owned by General Electric, is the largest energy techniques and selling energy company in the world. The company’s portfolio includes gas and steam turbines, distributed power, wind and renewable energy, nuclear energy, and water processing technologies.

The study, titled “Blockchain in the integrated energy transition,” was launched by German energy agency Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) to explore whether blockchain applications can be operated economically and reliably in energy industry use cases. It will evaluate the added value of blockchain compared to alternative systems and determine its technical and economic limits.

Steven Martin, GE Power’s chief digital officer, said that they joined the study to see if they can incorporate blockchain into its virtual power plant offering.

“With the move toward distributed, the types of plants that are of interest in different parts of the world seem to be changing,” Martin said. “There’s interest in more medium-sized, more throttle-able plants. There’s also interest in front-ending those plants with energy storage. GE was increasingly being asked about plants with shared ownership structures or, at the other end of the scale, aggregated assets coordinated to work in unison.”

Martin added that 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 application.

“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,” Martin said.

Andreas Kuhlmann, dena’s chief executive, said that at its foundation, blockchain offers the best conditions for the exchange, validation and documentation of valuable data in an integrated energy system.

“We have come to a point where it is necessary to verify whether the technology’s potential can be implemented in practice from a technical, economic and legal standpoint,” said Kuhlmann. “The energy system is a critical infrastructure that must work securely and be protected by digitisation at the information and communication technology level. Blockchain technology can help with that – we want our study to show precisely how.”

The results of the study, which will cover asset and data management, market communication, energy trading, financing and tokenization use cases, will be published by dena in 2019.

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