The Korean government is planning on building a blockchain-based virtual power plant in Busan City.
A virtual power plant refers to a power supply system that operates by integrating multiple electricity generation sources, whether they be public, corporate or retail.
The project, proposed by Busan City, Nuri Telecom, Pusan National University, Busan City Gas, and Korea Industrial Complex Corporation, will be based on a ‘blockchain of citizen participation’.
The details are unclear but ‘citizen participation’ could refer to a method similar to Electrify, where small-scale producers and consumers can buy or sell power.
Busan City also plans to develop the project in conjunction with the Energy
Integration Control Center (TOC), which was established last year. The aim is to use the project as a successful example of new power generation and distribution methods.
According to Yonhap News, a city official said that this project will mean Busan will take the lead in futuristic power relay trading in virtual power plants. The official also acknowledged that Busan intends to focus on energy efficiency to expand the city’s use of clean energy.
This is just the latest news in an area where there is a lot of activity. GE, Siemens and others have partnered with the German energy agency Dena to produce a study on the future of power generation and distribution.
Also, the World Energy Council, collaborating with PwC, has published a report exploring the benefits of using blockchain in the energy sector.
A related area attracting blockchain attention is renewable energy certificates. Often green energy that’s generated is fed back into the grid and indistinguishable from energy generated by other means. However, in some regions, there’s legislation requiring that energy consumption must involve a minimum proportion of renewable sources. The solution is the consumers, generally corporates, purchase renewable energy certificates and the proceeds go to the energy generators. There are certificate blockchain projects in Singapore and Nevada.