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Blockchain to Reshape the Electric Grid?

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:55 PM
Rebecca Campbell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:55 PM

Clean technology company Oxygen Initiative is getting the U.S. ready to start introducing blockchain-backed electronic wallets for drivers that could help shape the utility grid.

The electronic wallet, Share&Charge, enables people to share their charging stations with drivers through the blockchain.

With the blockchain, electric vehicle (EV) drivers would be able to undertake easy-to-use payment options such as highway tolls, peer-to-peer roaming and sharing of charging stations. Additionally, the technology could ensure that fees are collected from people for car-sharing, according to an announcement from Oxygen Initiative.

Stephen Davis, founder and CEO of Oxygen Initiative, said that e-mobility transactions are bringing in transportation advancements, which will enable the adoption of clean-tech autonomous vehicles (AV) and EVs.

He said:

[This] could bring the dream of less congestion and pollution, shorter commutes and lower operating costs into reality.

Not only that, but the blockchain could become the ideal way to help utilities manage the power grid. As Oxygen Initiative state, electric utility companies would pay drivers who agree to delay charging sessions. This in turn would reduce the strain on power grids experienced during peak times.

David adds:

Instead of paying with cash or credit cards, your vehicles could sell back excess energy during peak pricing events and pay for the vehicle operation.

Oxygen Initiative is in its second year of working with Germany’s leading energy company, Innogy SE.

Energy Sector Gets Blockchain Boost

As with many sectors, the energy industry is turning its attention to the blockchain to improve on its services.

Last month, it was reported that Wien Energie, Austria’s largest regional energy company, was joining a group of others to take part in a blockchain pilot that aims to reduce costs related to energy trading.

In October, Spanish energy company Endesa revealed plans to open a blockchain laboratory to encourage the creation of blockchain-based solutions for the sector.

While Australian electric company, Power Ledger, announced last August that it was undertaking trials via the blockchain to see how people buy, sell or exchange excess solar electricity.

As knowledge of the distributed ledger increases, more sectors are keen to use the technology to further the services they provide to consumers. And the energy industry is no different.

While this in the early days of development, the technology appears to be on its way of reshaping the energy sector. Not only that, but if people can receive compensation from the sector as a way of helping the sector, so much the better.

Featured image from Shutterstock.