Hence the renewables’ share in the electricity generation in Europe is growing constantly, the transmission grid is becoming more volatile. In the future, electricity from conventional sources might not meet the customers’ demand in some areas, and already now, the often inflexible energy system is leading to overloads of the transmission grid in times of high input of renewable energy – thus forcing transmission system operators (TSOs) to conduct stabilising grid interventions. In order to maintain grid stability and supply security within its control area, TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German TSO, is exploring new approaches in view of a decentralised and flexible grid management.
TenneT is running two pilot projects on new methods of balancing future supply and demand, one in the Netherlands together with green energy supplier Vandebron, and one in Germany together with sonnen eServices, a company specialising in home energy storage systems. Both projects involve the Blockchain platform technology, which is developed by IBM to connect multiple market participants and numerous distributed computed nodes in order to perform joint actions in a transparent, scalable, and trusted network. In the Dutch project, Vandebron will make the battery capacities of its customers with electric cars available to TenneT via the blockchain. In Germany, TenneT gets access to sonnen’s network of residential solar batteries. In both cases, an additional pool of available and flexible energy is presented to the TenneT operator, ready for activation by the push of a button and thus possibly helping to reduce measures of congestion management and supporting the integration of renewables.
Mel Kroon, CEO at TenneT TSO B.V. (Netherlands), and Urban Keussen, CEO at TenneT TSO GmbH (Germany), acknowledge the high potential of both pilot projects. According to Mr Kroon, they present a “part of TenneT’s broader strategy of preparing the electricity system to accommodate the growing volume of renewable energy”. Mr Keussen adds, that the blockchain offers new possibilities of networking decentralised distributed systems smart and securely. And what’s more: “With this innovative project, we offer citizens the opportunity to play an active part in shaping the energy transition.”