Sonnen GmbH, simply known as Sonnen, the German company which develops home energy systems for private households and small businesses, is planning to utilize Blockchain technology to distribute renewable energy such as solar power in Germany.
On May 2, Sonnen revealed its partnership with TenneT, the first power grid operator to use decentralized residential storage batteries in Germany.
They aim to utilize the cloud-based Blockchain platform of IBM built on top of the Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain protocol to better store and distribute renewable energy throughout Germany with a higher level of transparency, in real time.
In essence, Sonnen is implementing a decentralized and immutable technology in Blockchain to avoid “traffic jams” on power grids. Simply put, both Sonnen and TenneT are aiming to utilize Blockchain technology to efficiently oversee renewable power generation and distribution with greater flexibility.
Urban Keussen, CEO of TenneT TSO GmbH, stated:
“We must be flexible with regards to our management of energy production, namely solar and wind, that is inconsistent and highly contingent on the weather. Utilizing blockchain technology offers us new ways to network even locally distributed systems both safely and intelligently across multiple regions with one provider. This helps us to limit the use of network-stabilizing measures, such as the costly regulation of wind farms.”
Ultimately, through the partnership and collaborative project with Sonnen, TenneT hopes to reduce operating costs and other expenses involved in overseeing and regulating power distribution in Germany. Keussen reaffirmed that the utilization of Blockchain technology will enhance the transportability of solar and wind power, which would allow firms in Germany to waste less renewable energy in the transportation process.
“In the future, we will waste less wind and solar power because of inability to transport it. TenneT is pioneering this process of better integrating decentralized renewable energies and ensuring energy supply. With this innovative project, we are offering citizens a way to help actively shape how Germany reduces its dependence on nuclear and fossil-fuel energy,” Keussen added.
Operating costs for German power grid operators in overseeing and regulating renewable energy are extremely high. According to Sonnen, in 2016, companies in Germany spent over $880 mln, with the majority of costs being allocated to regulate wind farms.
Although the integration of Blockchain technology would significantly reduce these operating costs, TenneT’s collaborative project with Sonnen is more than improving profit margins for commercial companies. Instead, by utilizing a futuristic technology in the Blockchain, the two companies hope to introduce a new method for German power grid operators to optimize renewable energy, to help the country to become less fossil fuel-dependent.
Sonnen Managing Director Philipp Schroder explained:
“The future of power generation will be composed of millions of small, decentralized power sources, including both prosumers and consumers. The blockchain technology is what makes mass simultaneous exchange between all these parties possible in the first place, and is thus the missing link to a decentralized, completely CO2-free energy future.”