Yesterday Siemens, German electricity utility Allgäu Überlandwerk, and other partners in the Pebbles consortium launched their blockchain local electricity trading platform in Allgäu, Germany. The companies developed the platform as part of the Pebbles Research Project.
Currently still at the demonstration phase, the platform allows private electricity producers to supply electricity directly to local consumers without using intermediaries like electricity suppliers. Blockchain technology allows for transparent end-to-end transactions, garnering trust between participants. The platform is designed to take into account the forecast in demand and the amount of electricity generated.
Allgäuer Überlandwerk is a German renewable energy supplier heavily involved in e-mobility and blockchain solutions. Managing Director Michael Lucke clarified the firm’s motivation for the blockchain project. “We don’t wait for solutions, we develop them. When asked why we called electricity suppliers to develop a platform to help us trade electricity, I reply: If we don’t do it, someone else will as the market demands it. We would rather take the role of innovative platform operator than later watch as our customers get their electricity and flexibility from another platform, completely without us.”
In the Pebbles solution, electricity consumers can optimize their consumption preferences, such as the proportion of power that comes from wind versus solar and the price they’re willing to pay. Other features of the platform include battery storage and support for electric vehicle charging stations.
Pebbles is a research consortium consisting of Siemens, Allgau Überlandwerk, it’s subsidiary Allgäu Netz, Kempten University of Applied Sciences, and the Fraunhofer Institute. Created by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), Pebbles’ focus is on peer-to-peer blockchain energy trading.
This isn’t Allgau Überlandwerk’s first Pebbles project. It’s been involved in several, including with New York blockchain energy startup LO3 back in 2018. And LO3 has partnered in multiple blockchain initiatives with other firms, from an energy marketplace in Vermont to multiple projects in Japan.
Australia’s Power Ledger provides another blockchain energy solution. Last week, U.S. wholesale electricity provider American PowerNet hinted at multiple potential projects with Power Ledger in energy trading following a trial.