Energy web based on Polkadot to create a decentralized identity layer for the German grid

As part of its Blockchain Machine Identity Layer (BMIL) project, the German energy innovation authority DENA has chosen Energy web platform to build a decentralized identity solution. The tool will allow German distributed energy assets to be registered on a distributed ledger, which will allow the German electricity grid to integrate them easily.

Making distributed energy resources visible using blockchain

The current structure of the electricity market in most countries, including Germany, is seen by many as too centralized and monopolistic. Consumers are usually only able to shop with a few big players, which limits the options that might be available to them. The mission of the non-profit Energy Web Platform is to provide a consumer-centric energy market by leveraging blockchain technology.

To achieve this goal, Energy Web has developed a multi-pronged technology stack at the heart of which is the Energy web channel. The chain uses a proof of authority (PoA) -based consensus mechanism and relies on a copy of Ethereum’s virtual machine (EVM) for distributed computations. Web energy chain validators include carefully selected energy market participants, and the design of the PoA allows for much higher scalability and lower transaction costs than would be possible on Ethereum. Bulk rewards and fees on Energy Web Chain are paid in the Energy Web Token (EWT). To become more decentralized but without hampering scalability, Energy Web plans to adopt Polkadot’s parachain model in the future.

In addition to its blockchain, Energy Web offers a host of other tools under the umbrella of the decentralized Energy Web operating system (EW-DOS), including software development kits and the Energy Web registry. The latter’s toolbox allows the creation of decentralized identifiers (DID) for energy assets.

It is therefore not surprising that the German energy innovation authority DENA chose Energy Web for its experimental BMIL project. BMIL is part of DENA’s larger initiative called Future energy laboratory which also includes a smart contract register and CO2 emissions visualization.

The aim of BMIL is to create a distributed register of energy resources, where each of them will have its unique identity. Along with Energy Web, other major participants include participants in the Polkadot ecosystem KILT protocol and Parity technologies. The KILT protocol will use Parity’s Substrat framework to build an alternate implementation of the Distributed Identity Layer for BMIL, while Parity will bring its own Substrat client.

A bold decentralized identity experience

Despite BMIL’s great potential, atypical for government agencies promoting innovation, DENA has tried to downplay things. According to Philipp Richard, Head of Energy Systems and Digitization, “We still have a number of tasks to accomplish in order to successfully implement a decentralized and digital energy system. Digital identities are very important to ensure that the automatic exchange of information of millions of producers, storage systems and consumers is secure and reliable. One promising solution is an identity ledger that is tested on blockchain technology. This could provide great insight into building a digital market design.

Representatives of participating projects are much more optimistic about the initiative. Commenting on the DENA decision, Energy Web CCO Jesse Morris said: “This is an incredible development, not only for Germany but for the global energy sector. Now we have the electricity sector of the world’s fourth largest economy taking decisive steps towards a digitalized and decentralized future. ”

In turn, Polkadot and Parity founder Gavin Wood also praised the initiative, stating: “Our work with Energy Web to bring energy infrastructure into the next digital age is central to Parity Technology’s vision. of a decentralized Web 3.0. The fact that DENA selected Energy Web for this work is a strong validation of our blockchain building structure substrate and the overall technology stack that we have developed together over the past few years.


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