Austrian Power Grid (APG) is now the fourth to become a member of the EQUIGY blockchain energy balancing platform. Other members of this platform include TenneT, Swissgrid, and Terna, which hails from Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, respectively. The joint initiative wants to address the issue of imbalance between renewable energy demand and supply.
Energy transition, which is the process of shifting from using fossil fuels to renewables, is facing a lot of challenges. One of these challenges is the volatility in power supply like solar and wind. Renewable sources do not have the capacity to offer sufficient power when the demand increases. Consequently, power grids are forced to spend more money in maintaining a balance between demand and supply.
Many renewable energy sources in Austria rely on the weather. With the growing power usage, the energy system has to provide a lasting solution to allow market members to trade effectively. This will be achieved by 2030 when the energy system will provide 100% power from renewable sources.
EQUIGY’s solution will enable all participants, whether big or small, to generate and store power, which will be used to balance power grids. The platform uses blockchain, electric vehicles, and batteries in stabilizing power grids, which facilitate the participation of commercial providers and households in the power trading market.
Batteries can be used to store surplus energy and delivered when renewable sources do not meet demand. The blockchain’s main objective is to help track the transactions whenever a business or household delivers power to the grid. In 2019, the APG developed a platform that enabled small-scale consumers to participate in the power trading market. APG wants to develop the platform further and partners with other transmission grid traders to extend the technology.
The initiative aims to achieve its goals at both the national and European level. In 2020, the APG intervened on the grid almost every day, making them come up with several measures. The measures are taken costed APG about £134 million. Joining EQUIGY will enable international participants to interact in renewable energy trading in Austria. This will help reach an equilibrium between power demand and supply, making the entire system stable and flexible.
Various companies and organizations are trying to solve this problem of power grid instability. For instance, Sonnen Group, a German energy storage systems provider, collaborates with the Energy Web Foundation to reserve wind power in batteries.