US-based firms Xage Security and Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) are working on a project, to use blockchain technology with an aim to improve cybersecurity and boost the efficiency of energy demand management. The target areas include solar power, energy storage & efficiency, and power demand management.
Xage Security is a start-up, which provides blockchain-based cybersecurity platform; while ComEd is a Chicago based power utility.
Xage Security’s CEO, Duncan Greatwood says, “Smart grid cybersecurity must protect every digital interaction.”
To meet challenges like global warming and pollution, more and more countries are shifting to renewable energy sources like solar power, wind power, etc. The problem with renewable energy sources is that their supply depends on weather conditions. This makes ensuring power management; so that energy is available as per demand very difficult. And new systems and technologies are required, to take cognizance of these changes and create a suitable response from electricity grids for stable electricity supply.
Moreover, IoT is being used to connect more smarter devices in power systems to the internet, led by the installation of smart meters. This trend is bound to increase as we move towards a smart grid, which will see smart devices combined with automated control of HVAC units. As the number of connected devices increases, it will be very difficult to design a centralized computational system, to handle a plethora of data from multiple sources at high frequency.
Blockchain technology is already used in peer to peer systems. It is currently being developed to facilitate machine-to-machine communication, to provide a decentralized alternative for IoT platforms and further, blockchain platforms can ensure interoperability of IoT applications also. Decentralization will not only increase the speed of communication but will also increase its security.
Thus, more and more energy firms are exploring the possibility of using blockchains along with IoT and data analytics, to increase both digitalization of energy resources as well as their security.