Honda and GM are planning to explore using electric car batteries for smoothing power in smart grids using blockchain, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. The study is part of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) standards body, where both auto companies are members.
Smart grids use power generated by renewable sources such as solar and wind power. Plus they often involve storing power from the grid during off peak periods for later use. The aim is to price electricity based on demand so off peak power should be cheaper.
However, the batteries to store the off peak power are expensive. Hence, using a car battery is cost efficient. Additionally, if the power is stored off peak and released back to the grid during times of peak demand the battery could become a revenue earner.
In March MOBI announced that General Motors would chair two new working groups. One relates to Electric Vehicle Grid Integration and the other is the Autonomous Vehicle Data Marketplace.
Other Japanese energy initiatives
In Japan following the 2011 tsunami and shutdown of nuclear plants for several years, smart grids have become a priority with numerous blockchain initiatives under way.
Late last year a consortium involving Kansai Electric Power, Unisys, University of Tokyo and Mitsubishi UFJ Bank announced a prosumer electricity trading system built on blockchain.
In January Fujitsu said it is using blockchain for a system where consumers control the amount of energy they use in peak periods.
And in the middle of last year, Japan’s TAKE Energy Corporation (TEC) partnered with the Singaporean blockchain start-up Electrify.