Blockchain is the energy sector’s elusive Next Big Thing. Experts say the technology, more commonly associated with cryptocurrencies, could hold the key to transforming a traditional energy system based on centralized power plants to one powered by a multitude of volatile, diffusely scattered renewable installations. “We have less and less conventional power plants to rely on, but more and more renewables, and we need means to integrate them into a system, so we are looking for new technologies,” Ulrike Hörchens, spokesperson for German grid operator TenneT, told DW. TenneT is currently testing Europe’s first blockchain project to stabilize the power system, in collaboration with home solar storage producer Sonnen. Balancing the grid The idea is to attract “prosumers” — electricity customers who also produce their own renewable power and feed it back into the network — with free power in exchange for the contribution they can make to stabilizing the grid. Currently, the German grid isn’t up to the job of transporting electricity between the country’s windswept north — dotted with turbines that produce more power than can be consumed locally — and its energy-hungry industrial south. Wind turbines in Schleswig-Holstein: Germany’s gusty north generates more renewable power than it can consume Powerful winds in… Read full this story
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