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POWERful Digital Transformation For The Energy Transition

The energy sector is undergoing a significant transformation as it moves towards a greener, more sustainable future. At #TheNTWKSummit23 we had an insightful roundtable moderated by Alejandro Sanchez to shed more light on this topic. Participants included Lluisa Marsal, Eduard Castañeda, Alex Rösch and Stephan Fester.

Unlocking the Potential of Distributed Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles and Blockchain for Energy Transition.

At the heart of this change are three key pillars: renewables, electric vehicles, and blockchain technology. By leveraging the strengths of each of these elements, we can address some of the key challenges facing the energy sector, such as the intermittency of renewable energy sources, the need for energy storage, and the integration of distributed energy resources into the power grid.

Moreover, this confluence can also pave the way for new business models and services that promote energy efficiency, demand-side management, and consumer empowerment, ultimately driving a cleaner, more resilient, and more inclusive energy future.

The intermittent nature of renewable energy is a challenge to their large-scale integration into the power grid. This is because the supply of solar and wind power is dependent on weather conditions and other factors, making it difficult to guarantee a consistent, reliable supply of energy. This issue can be addressed through the use of energy storage systems, such as batteries, which can store excess energy produced during periods of high renewable generation and release it when needed.

"The amount of energy you can store in a car can support your energy consumption for four or five days," said Eduard Castañeda.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as another key element in the push towards a more sustainable and decarbonized energy system. The widespread adoption of EVs has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation sector - currently 14% of the global GHG emissions. However, more importantly, EVs can also play a crucial role in the wider energy transition by acting as energy storage units that help balance energy supply and demand.

When connected to the grid, EVs can store excess renewable energy during periods of high generation and release it back into the grid when needed, a process known as vehicle-to-grid technology. This not only helps to address the intermittency issue associated with renewables but also has the potential to reduce the overall cost of energy for consumers by allowing them to self-consume the energy stored and potentially sell excess back to the grid at peak times.

"This change is not completely free of problems; batteries involve materials that can pose concerns in terms of mining and proper disposal," shared Alejandro Sanchez.

The reuse of batteries will help avoid having to make a trade-off. Regulations and industry-standard policies are also working to enable and accelerate best practices of battery reuse.

Stephan Fester highlighted: "One of the advantages of batteries, particularly lithium batteries, is their high recycling rate of over 90%. They can be recycled repeatedly, which has prompted the industry to explore alternatives for reducing reliance on virgin raw materials.

The role of blockchain in the energy transition lies in the potential of the technology to transform the way energy is produced, distributed, and consumed. As a decentralized, transparent, and secure digital ledger, blockchain can facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources and EVs into the power grid, as well as enable new business models and services that promote energy efficiency, demand-side management, and consumer empowerment.

  • One of the key applications of blockchain technology in the energy sector is the creation of decentralized energy markets, where consumers (also, prosumers) can buy and sell energy directly with one another, without the need for intermediaries. Tokenization of the load-displacement can incentivize the consumers and prosumers to act in ways that lead to greater efficiency, as energy can be traded and consumed locally, lowering the pressure on the grids, hence reducing transmission losses and infrastructure costs.

  • It can also empower the consumers - individuals and legal entities - to become more active participants in the energy system, for instance, through gross market representatives, peer-to-peer marketplaces, and management of multi-energy services.

"The energy sector is hugely regulated everywhere, particularly in Europe... so the cracks where you can fit some sort of blockchain technology are very narrow," shared Lluisa Marsal.

However, several challenges need to be overcome for blockchain technology to reach its full potential in promoting the energy transition in Europe, particularly on the side of the consumers.

Alex Rösch: "It is essential to prioritize the development of a robust infrastructure. This requires initial investments to stabilize the grid. Once the grid is strengthened, regulations can be relaxed, providing opportunities for communities to participate."

Unlike in Asia or Australia, the national, centralized distribution networks in most European countries can also limit the connection points, where the consumers can inject

Written by Phuong Pham ©TheNTWK


Join TheNTWKTalks: Open Innovation Fueling Energy Transition with Estela Vilches

Estela Vilches is the Head of Open Innovation at CEPSA, a 95-year-old international oil and gas company focused on sustainable energy. She leads the development of digital products and services at Cepsa Digital which is set to accelerate energy transition and decarbonization through an innovation ecosystem.

🗓️ Date: Thursday, 14th March, 5:00 pm CET

📍 Location: Online

In this 🎙️#TheNTWKTalks 🎙️, we focus on how collaboration enables and accelerates innovation in a traditional industry and her lessons learned.


Join TheNTWKSummit24 to Delve Deeper Into the Future of Energy Transition


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