On Tuesday, the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), announced that the trade alliance SunSpec has become its latest member. Together, they aim to develop standards and solutions so that different brands of solar panels and battery storage equipment are interoperable.
EWF is a global non-profit consortium that leverages blockchain technology for renewable energy applications. It boasts more than a hundred members, including numerous electricity utilities around the world as well as Shell and Total.
The SunSpec Alliance primarily aims to create information standards to facilitate “plug and play” system interoperability. It represents around 100 firms spanning three continents, including major players such as Tesla and LG Electronics.
Most manufacturers use custom components and proprietary software and data formats. Often additional software is required to access the data in all these different formats.
Standards will enable plug and play systems to allow software to seamlessly connect to hardware such as meters, solar panels and batteries. Such technology is becoming crucial to the energy industry as energy resources are increasingly decentralized and individuals and firms demand user-friendly, interoperable and secure software and hardware. The standards required are similar to those for video and phone communications.
By utilizing plug-and-play technology and blockchain’s ability to create secure and automated systems, the organizations will work with grid operators and renewable energy/DER providers to help with the digitalization and grid integration of DERs.
Jesse Morris, CCO of Energy Web, was eager to indicate how the organizations’ strengths complement one another effectively for such a project, describing the collaboration as a “natural fit”.
The Energy Web Foundation has recently announced a number of other partnerships to bring distributed ledger technology (DLT) into the distributed energy industry. Last month, the organization penned deals in Turkey and Brazil to introduce blockchain-enabled energy trading platforms, notably collaborating with the energy giant AES Tietê in the latter case.
Earlier this year, the Bavaria-based Sonnen Group announced that it was using Energy Web’s blockchain-enabled technologies to create a virtual power plant.