Non-profit blockchain organization Energy Web and global communications company Vodafone Business have announced a partnership to give energy assets secure digital IDs and track their use and connections within energy grids. They will combine SIM-centric blockchain technology (SCB) with the Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology.
Vodafone’s IoT focus as Vodafone Business IoT now boasts over 100 million connections, its global connectivity and similar technology to mobile phone SIM cards will be used with the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS).
Energy Web launched its open-source enterprise blockchain platform for the energy sector in 2019, Energy Web Chain. This project grew to encompass EW-DOS which is a, as per Energy Web, “blockchain plus,” suite of decentralized solutions.
Energy Web has also developed an energy blockchain ecosystem which includes utility companies, grid operators and energy buyers and developers. The organization’s focus is to accelerate “a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system by unleashing the potential of blockchain and other decentralized technologies.”
Vodafone Business is Energy Web’s first telecoms partner. The project aims to improve the integration of energy assets, such as turbines and solar panels, using IoT connectivity and blockchain, specifically SCB technology. This new SIM-centric technology will provide energy assets secure digital IDs meaning energy grid stakeholders can identify, track, validate and manage energy equipment and assets within smart grids. As per the Energy Web announcement:
“The ability to identify and validate distributed-generation assets in the smart grid is essential to maintain its stability.”
Vodafone already provides smart metering and smart grid solutions to the energy sector. Erik Brenneis, Vodafone Business IoT director, says:
“As the number of decentralized, new-generation, low-carbon devices grows, so does the need for them to be securely connected regardless of their location.”
Walter Kok, CEO of Energy Web, adds “from our perspective, the energy sector can only evolve so fast and so far without taking into account IoT connectivity.”
Kok, commenting on the ease of using SIM technology to identify and connect devices, told CoinDesk:
“We can hook up through [the SIM], we don’t have to do anything, just download the software from Voda, and it’s connected to the chain and has its own identity; because that’s the beauty of it.”
Blockchain’s benefits in securing and improving supply chains and processes are again being utilized in the energy sector, one of the main use cases for distributed ledger technology. Blockchain’s secure traceability and permissioned real-time accessibility provide an untapped potential to a developing and increasingly digital energy industry. Blockchain is also being tested in the energy sector to deliver P2P energy trading platforms, to track renewable energy generation and to encourage renewable energy consumption.