Tuesday the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), announcement than the commercial alliance SunSpec became its last member. Together, they aim to develop standards and solutions so that different brands of solar panels and battery storage equipment are interoperable.
EWF is a global non-profit consortium that harnesses blockchain technology for renewable energy applications. It has more than a hundred members, including many electricity companies around the world as well as Shell and Total.
The SunSpec Alliance aims primarily to create information standards to facilitate the interoperability of “plug and play” systems. It represents a hundred companies spread over three continents, including major players such as Tesla and LG Electronics.
Most manufacturers use custom components and proprietary software and data formats. Often, additional software is required to access data in all of these different formats.
The standards will allow plug and play systems to allow software to connect seamlessly to hardware such as meters, solar panels and batteries. Such technology is becoming crucial for the energy industry as energy resources are increasingly decentralized and individuals and businesses demand user-friendly, interoperable and secure software and hardware. The standards required are similar to those for video and telephone communications.
Using plug-and-play technology and the ability of blockchain to create secure and automated systems, organizations will work with grid operators and renewable energy / DER providers to help digitize and integrate to the DER network.
Jesse Morris, CCO of Energy Web, was eager to point out how the organizations’ strengths effectively complement each other for such a project, describing the collaboration as a “natural fit”.
The Energy Web Foundation recently announced a number of other partnerships to bring distributed ledger (DLT) technology to the distributed energy industry. Last month, the organization struck deals in Turkey and Brazil to introduce blockchain-enabled energy trading platforms, including working with energy giant AES Tietê in the latter case.
Earlier this year, the Bavaria-based Sonnen Group announced it was using Energy Web’s blockchain technologies to create a virtual power plant.