Bebat Launches EasyBat, an Open-Source, Decentralized Solution for Battery Lifecycle Management
Leverages the Energy Web technology stack, with an initial focus on industrial and home battery storage
Brussels, Belgium and Zug, Switzerland — 16 March 2021 — Today Bebat, the Belgian battery compliance scheme; Fluvius, the electricity and natural gas distribution system operator (DSO) for the Flemish Region of Belgium; and Energy Web jointly announced an open-source solution for decentralized lifecycle battery asset management, called EasyBat.
Since 2006, the EU’s Battery Directive has required member countries to institute takeback schemes to ensure environmentally responsible recycling and/or disposal of post-consumer batteries. To date, lifecycle asset management for batteries has been cumbersome at best. Before EasyBat, tracking battery assets was essentially non-existent. Currently, in Belgium, the registration of customer-owned assets, such as a home battery, requires a lot of information and burdensome paperwork collection.
EasyBat aims to greatly simplify that process. The solution is built on the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS) open-source technology stack and focuses on the entire battery lifecycle. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), distributors, installers, and accredited inspection and certification organizations issue and verify every relevant asset transaction. The fact that all these entities work together on a shared decentralized ecosystem is an important and never-seen-before innovation.
“By having created a decentralized digital passport, the entire logistic flow — from put-on-market all the way to reverse logistics for the takeback obligation and waste collection — is digitized on a decentralized digitally trusted ledger,” said Philippe Decrock from Bebat. “This represents a revolutionary, customer-centric solution and affirms a key business case for distributed ledger technology.’”
In recent years, battery lifecycle management has taken on heightened importance, thanks to the fast-growing adoption of customer-owned distributed energy resources (DERs), including residential batteries and electric vehicles (EVs).
Just last month, the European Commission announced the first initiative (the EU Battery Regulation) under its Circular Economy Action Plan: making batteries sustainable, high-performing, and safe along their entire life cycle — thus making them consistent with the carbon-neutral ambition of the European Green Deal. This includes minimizing the environmental impact of batteries and repurposing batteries from electric vehicles and industrial batteries so that they can have a second life. The core of this new initiative is the idea of a Battery Digital Passport, which is exactly where the EasyBat solution built on EW-DOS comes into play.
“We’ve long focused on creating ‘passports’ for assets like batteries. This concept is core not just to our tech stack but to the evolving electricity system around the world. The European Commission’s new initiative on Battery Passports is a strong validation of the concept and sets the stage for market transformation throughout the EU. We’re excited to see it come to life in EasyBat,” said Jesse Morris, chief commercial officer for Energy Web.
EasyBat will help Bebat to easily monitor the specific data linked to the legal takeback obligations and/or extended producers responsibility (EPR) of battery manufacturers. They have an obligation to register and report the put-on-market of various batteries (including technical specifications such as chemistry/weight/modules) through the battery’s lifecycle up to the moment of collection at a battery’s end of life. EasyBat makes it possible to holistically manage customer-owned batteries (both private & professional use) participating in Belgian electricity markets — including those on the Fluvius network. EasyBat heavily leverages the open-source EW-DOS technology stack, including EW Switchboard, a new interface for managing decentralized, self-sovereign identities, as well as their associated assets, roles, and permissions.
Thanks to Switchboard and EW-DOS, customers remain in control of their own identity and the information associated with their assets, such as EV, residential, commercial, and industrial batteries. They create a self-sovereign ‘digital twin’ for any assets, which third-parties such as the manufacturer, installer, and/or DSO can verify. Such a DER Passport — or Battery Passport, in EU Commission parlance — provides a shared state of the asset and its history to any pre-approved energy market participants.
For example, DSOs like Fluvius and lifecycle management programs like Bebat can monitor batteries throughout their full value chain, from manufacturing to sales to providing energy services such as grid flexibility to secondary re-use (in the case of electric vehicle batteries) to end-of-life disposal (collection, dismantling, and recycling).
“This approach extends far beyond tracking the history of every DER throughout its lifetime, from manufacturing to operation to end-of-life recycling or decommissioning,” said Bart Coelus of Fluvius. “Creating digital twins of assets, especially DERs at the grid edge, gives grid operators like Fluvius unprecedented visibility into the physical grid they manage. That digital representation of the actual grid will be the core layer of future grid operations. EW Switchboard accelerated our progress on this front, allowing us to move further, faster down the path of digitalization.”
Bebat is a Belgian nonprofit association (vzw) established in 1995 by battery manufacturers — including Duracell, Energizer, Varta and Panasonic — to enable companies to meet the take-back obligation for the Belgian market. Bebat gives new life to used batteries and ranks among the world leaders in the collection of used batteries. Used batteries can be handed in at one of 24,000 collection points, convenient and free of charge. Bebat organises their collection as well as the sorting and recycling process. In 2019 Bebat collected more than 3,600 tons of batteries in Belgium. Over the last five years, Bebat has already collected 10.000 electric vehicle (EV) batteries, which it recycles through the best recycling companies in Belgium and Europe. With the growth of waste industrial batteries, Bebat also measures to make possible repurposing, re-use of waste batteries with still-usable capacity, and responsible end-of-life disposal for spent batteries. Bebat is also part of Reneos European cooperative, a network of Europe’s top national battery collection systems, including GRS Batterien in Germany, Stibat in the Netherlands, Batteriretur in Norway, and Cobalt in Italy. The Reneos network covers 20 EU countries.
For more, please visit https://www.bebat.be/en/homepage.
Fluvius is the network operator created on 1 July 2018 by the merger of Eandis and Infrax. Fluvius is responsible for the construction, management, and maintenance of electricity and natural gas distribution grids, sewerage, cable distribution, and heat. The company also manages the municipal public lighting system. In total, Fluvius manages 230,000 kilometers of utility networks and 7 million connections. Fluvius is active in all 300 Flemish cities and municipalities.
For more, please visit http://over.fluvius.be.
About Energy Web
Energy Web is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating the low-carbon, customer-centric energy transition by unleashing the potential of open-source, digital technologies. Our Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS) enables any energy asset, owned by any customer, to participate in any energy market. The Energy Web Chain — the world’s first enterprise-grade, public blockchain tailored to the energy sector — anchors the EW-DOS tech stack. The Energy Web ecosystem comprises leading utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers, IoT / telecom leaders, and others.
For more, please visit https://energyweb.org.
Peter Bronski, Energy Web
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