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Blockchain at Work in the Energy Sector

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Blockchain technology is enabling innovation in multiple industries, including the energy sector.

Blockchain Technology Partners, BTP, joined LF Energy to accelerate collaboration on deploying and managing blockchain infrastructure in the enterprise energy space.

BTP’s focus is on providing a strong, stable platform on which companies can then innovate and develop multiparty middleware applications and services, says Duncan Johnston-Watt, BTP CEO and Co-Founder.

In energy, blockchain technologies can provide provenance, meaning the ability to track the life cycle of assets. That might be, for example, tracking solar panels used in a solar panel installation, where they came from, who transported them, installed them, etc. This could be useful to address performance issues or repairs. Another use case would be to track renewable energy sources to ensure that the energy supplied is truly 100% renewable.

Energy will benefit from blockchain technology, in particular, because it has a broad and diverse set of market participants, “and this creates a lot of friction on several fronts,” adds BTP Vice President of Strategy, Csilla Zsigri. Blockchain and associated technologies can help alleviate these fractions.

In addition to being members of LF Energy, BTP is also a member of the Hyperledger Foundation, the CNCF and the Open Source Security Foundation.

To see a video interview and learn more, click here.

Open Source Development, Collaboration to Help Grids Maximize Capacity

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Making the most of grid capacity is critical to reduce carbonization and better serve customers,
and grid operators are looking to open source collaboration to assist.

Vattenfall Eldistribution AB is a Swedish utility company, located mostly in Sweden but other
parts of Europe, too. The distribution piece of the company operates independently and owns
medium voltage grids that cover about 50% of the Swedish population.

The new vision at Vattenfall is to reach beyond its normal business and customers to share and
collaborate to improve electrification and clean energy for all of society. By joining LF Energy,
Vattenfall expects to collaborate on software solutions that not only help it, but other grid
companies, too.

One project in the works is a grid capacity map that will enable grid operators—and the
customers they serve—to more easily see when and where connections will be most optimal.
For instance, with good data on grid conditions, a utility may advise a company to move
locations to get connection sooner.

By working with others on open source solutions, Vattenfall expects faster development and
deployment. “We can share the code with other utilities. They can check our calculations … and
they can give feedback and even patch the code and upload an improved version,” says Harold
Klomp, Vattenfall Hub Manager.

Open source development will also speed the implementation of standards, which is necessary
to keep up with market demand, says Vincent Gliniewicz, Lead Data Scientist. “With
electrification going at such a pace, we cannot … wait for the standard to be completely written
and set in stone before we start to look at implementation,” he says.

Vattenfall expects a doubling of grid connections in the next 15 to 20 years. It also needs to
adjust to having energy flow onto the grid from solar producers. The grid capacity map will
cover both generation and consumption.

For more information, see video here

 

Forecasting to Create a More Resilient, Optimized Grid

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The electrical grid that was built decades ago is not well suited for the demands of today. As more renewables come on line, and demand for energy soars, optimizing the grid is crucial.

That’s why LF Energy is pleased to announce its newest project, OpenSTEF, from Alliander, the largest DSO in the Netherlands.

OpenSTEF is designed to enable forecasting of renewable loads, on both the consumption and generation side. The forecasts, done hours to days ahead, will give grid operators time to adjust to conditions and optimize grid performance. This might mean signaling a big energy user to ease off for a few hours or to signal a renewal energy producer to step up flow.

Alliander is already using OpenSTEF to balance its grid, to deliver the same capability to the national grid operator, and to facilitate adoption of more smart technologies.

By donating OpenSTEF to LF Energy, Alliander hopes to bolster use of the technology, expand it to more use cases, and unleash the power of open source collaboration to further the energy transition.

OpenSTEF provides a complete software stack. As demand for better forecasting grows, the risk is that every company will develop their own forecasting software.

Sharing OpenSTEF will enable more collaboration, “saving us and others money but also, most importantly, to speed up innovation and to tackle the challenges we face today and tomorrow,” says Jonas van den Bogaard, a solution architect at Alliander.

To contribute or learn more, please visit the OpenSTEF GitHub page here.

For more information, see this video interview here.

 

Making Carbon Accounting Count

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LF Energy, the open source foundation focused on the power systems sector, today welcomes the Carbon Data Specification Consortium (CDS) project, a standard specification that will help to define the raw data to track the carbon intensity of consumed energy and the carbon emissions associated with power systems, to guide grid decarbonization, and decision-making.

Initially, the CDS will consist of a semantic ontology, data dictionary, and usage guidance for raw data that enables measuring, quantifying, and tracking carbon emissions from energy production, transmission, distribution, and consumption. These standards and requirements are meant to boost the reliability and consistency of data, thereby enabling markets to confidently expand 24/7 carbon-neutral investments that support and inform grid decarbonization.

LF Energy Carbon Data Specification Consortium“Historically, power networks have used two parameters to govern operations – the physics that enable reliability and safety, and the markets that manage supply and demand. Decarbonization requires that we add a third leg – the environment as represented by carbon. The data used to calculate carbon emissions must be aligned with, and come from, the physics of the power network. We are leveraging the models and schema that utilities use today built on previous standards that have enabled operations and interoperability.” says Shuli Goodman, Executive Director, Linux Foundation Energy. “We’re excited for the CDS to formalize the data specification that represents the carbon intensity of the nodal system to drive transparent accounting.”

The Carbon Data Specification Consortium (CDSC) includes stakeholders from utilities, power systems, power system software Maintainers, corporates with net-zero mandates, and new and emerging carbon tracking companies. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, and the current geo-political situation, participants agree that taking the traditional route will take too long. The Linux Foundation, who created the Community Specification 1.0, has been successful in multiple previous standards efforts. By applying the Community Specification to this initiative the group seeks to cut years off the traditional standards process.

This unique consortium of stakeholders from North America, Europe, and Australia positions the CDS to be a harmonized global data framework. The usage guidance will enable utilities and corporations to build confidence around emissions reporting for greenhouse gas accounting, the framework for meeting our global goals to arrest climate change. By joining forces and collaborating, we’ll get much farther, faster, and end up with more workable and optimal solutions.

You can contribute to the effort and/or learn more about CDS through its GitHub repository.

 

Linking Carbon Counting to Renewable Electricity Purchases

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More consumers and corporations want to know the carbon footprint of the companies they do business with, and businesses are buying more renewable energy in response.

But it’s no longer enough just to buy and use renewables. The pressure is on companies to also understand the carbon impact of those purchases.

That’s where FlexiDAO comes in. FlexiDAO, founded four years ago, helps companies eliminate emissions from the electricity they buy. It does that by enabling them to monitor and certify the origin of that power, and its carbon emissions every hour of the day.

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