- Utility Asset Management
- Demand Response
Blockchain Can Satisfy the Need for Energy Asset Management
Since Guidehouse Insights’ energy blockchain tracker began in 2012, transactive energy and certificates of origin have remained the most popular blockchain applications. However, other use cases such as using blockchain to manage assets have become more popular in recent years as the market has begun to mature.
Guidehouse Insights defines asset management in the energy blockchain space as registering or tracking assets to streamline transactions, share information, and allow data access. This is broken down further into two use cases: asset registry and information asset management. Asset registry projects use blockchain to create a database of assets within a space (such as new residential PV systems) or to support transactions. Information asset management projects collect specific data from assets often used for hedging to support asset valuation. Asset management can also be useful in allowing stakeholders to access data through decentralized identification (DID), giving them access to the network data.
Project Interest and Investment
Multiple interesting projects have used blockchain’s asset management capabilities. Blockchain-based databases can be used to collaborate globally across the utility industry to track and analyze asset lifespans and potential problems to create management tactics. In 2020, Guidehouse Insights identified 15 projects with asset management capabilities. These projects include:
- LO3 Energy and Direct Energy did a pilot in 2018 using permissioned tokens to support demand response (DR) in Texas. They used the data to hedge energy needs and support energy marketplace transactions.
- Electron is using blockchain to create Project RecorDER, a network asset and system map in the UK. This project aims to register generation and storage data to improve grid flexibility.
- Energy Web is working with the German Energy Agency to automatically register customer-owned assets from PV to batteries to thermostats on a DID ledger. The database will assist regulations and virtual power plant services.
- LG CNS plans to use DID for a pilot launching in 2022 that will allow the South Korean government to verify self-driving car identities without risking platform security.
- VIA has created the Global Data Asset Collaborative database for transformer data, which is used by a range of utilities to predict when transformers may fail and when they should be replaced.
The Growing Need and Market for Energy Asset Management
As renewables continue to be integrated into global electricity grids, there is increased need for asset management technologies such as blockchain. Blockchain has many advantages for asset management because it allows multiple stakeholders to access parts of a dataset without compromising the security or integrity of the data—creating a single trusted source for data and validation systems without a middleman. Asset management projects are expected to continue to grow in the coming years, especially considering the wide scope of assets that must be tracked from physical hardware valuations and new distributed energy resources to clean energy transactions and certificate validation systems.
Blockchain-enabled asset management can be integrated with many other relevant blockchain use cases such as transactive energy, certificates of origin, DR, and grid balancing and management. This integration will contribute to increased adoption in both existing and future projects. For a more in-depth look at blockchain-based grid balancing and management solutions, see Guidehouse Insights’ reports Analyst Insight: Energy Blockchain in Asset Management and Energy Blockchain Vendor and Deployment Tracker 3Q21.