Smart Grids & Smart Community

Social System Innovation in the Energy Sector: Blockchain


Session background and objectives

・Blockchain and related innovations may fundamentally alter the way of economic transactions in social systems; they may reduce or even eliminate the traditional role of intermediate companies such as banks, energy traders and other wholesale businesses.

・Blockchain concepts may be used in peer to peer transactions of PV generation surplus, grid and system services, distributed energy resources, charging and payment of electric vehicles, and electricity from renewable sources. If blockchain is utilized as part of social infrastructure in the future, renewables and other distributed energy resources can efficiently be deployed and operated, which would contribute to achieving CO2 net zero emission.

・With such background, this session will introduce the basics of blockchain technologies and its particular features, share cases of first blockchain applications in the energy sector, and cover topics for further R&D. Furthermore, the session will discuss the role of blockchain towards CO2 net-zero emission.


Georg Erdmann[Chair]


Professor, Berlin University of Technology; Member of the independent Expert group "Energy for the Future" consulting the Federal Government on the German Energy Transformation

Aeron Buchanan

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Co-Founder of Grid Singularity and Energy Web Foundation

Belinda Kinkead

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Director, LO3 Energy Australia


In April 2016, the world’s first ever energy blockchain transaction occurred between two Brooklyn residents. This was the beginning of the Brooklyn Microgrid, a project to create a community microgrid wherein members can participate in their local energy economy through power purchases, PV generation, energy storage, demand response and other actions. In Brooklyn, neighbours buy and sell local, clean energy from each other using LO3 Energy’s TransActive Grid. The result is the creation of a transactive market where environmental and economic impacts of new technologies and business models can be measured and appropriately valued.

Carsten Stöcker

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Senior Manager, Innogy Innovation Hub, Machine Economy Lighthouse


As the fourth industrial revolution unfolds, blurring the line between the physical, biological and digital worlds, new information technology is emerging to significantly improve the way how we exchange values and services.

A variety of entirely new decentralised technologies such as Blockchain is currently maturing very fast. These technologies provide interoperable, self-sovereign identities while enabling the exchange of physical and financial values in direct counter party transactions among entities that have never met before.

Both, the energy and mobility system, will benefit from these technologies, especially when the decentral energy system meets autonomous vehicles. Peer-to-peer exchange of decentral energy, aggregation of flexibilities and the integration with mobility services will enable a new more sustainable system design.

Integrating and prototyping these technologies today is a ‘must do approach’ in order to learn and understand how the future energy and mobility system will work.

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