Energy Web shares open-source tech toolkit for simplifying 24/7 clean energy procurement
Zug, Switzerland — 31 March 2022 — Energy Web (EW), in cooperation with Elia, SB Energy, and Shell, is excited to introduce the EW 24/7 toolkit, EW’s first version of its open-source Software Development Toolkit (SDK) supporting a 24/7 clean energy use case.
EW 24/7, developed through proof-of-concept projects with our partners, provides the groundwork for companies to build decentralized applications (dApps) for tracking and matching their real-time renewable energy generation and consumption with high granularity. 24/7 is being added under the umbrella of the existing EW Origin SDK, and will continue to be improved as part of the upcoming Green Proof workstream. Energy Web welcomes companies around the world to use the toolkit, build on it, and explore cooperation opportunities as EW is planning to introduce further decentralization components to advance and scale the 24/7 toolkit.
What is 24/7 Clean Energy?
More than ever, businesses are committing to renewable energy procurement, with many companies targeting 100% renewable energy usage as part of the global push towards carbon neutrality. RE100, a global corporate renewable energy initiative, which sees members commit to using 100% renewable electricity, now has more than 350 members.
However, there’s an issue with how renewable energy procurement works. Current procurement methods match the average supply and demand for a company over a long time period, such as a year or a month at best. This means that companies purchase or generate enough renewable energy to match 100 percent or more of their electricity use over the course of the year — however, this doesn’t mean that they are actually covering all of their power use with renewables.
By pursuing a 24/7 Clean Energy strategy, which sees time of use of energy consumption matched to the time of renewable generation as closely as possible, companies can enhance the accuracy of their carbon accounting and increase grid flexibility. In addition, a 24/7 solution can enable consumers to shift their energy consumption to times with the highest share of clean energy in the grid, while providing more accurate price signals for clean energy where it’s most needed. 24/7 solutions can successfully trace energy consumption on a highly granular level, for instance, every 30 minutes. For further information on 24/7 Clean Energy and how it works, please see the ‘Additional Reading’ section.
EW, through working with Elia, SB Energy, and Shell across different projects and use cases, has tested and demonstrated how the open-source Energy Web stack can provide the necessary digital tools to spearhead 24/7 clean energy. EW is proud to announce the first release of the 24/7 toolkit available to the public for active use, testing, and deployment, with plans to release updates and improvements by the end of 2022.
Examples of functionalities of EW’s 24/7 toolkit
Based on feedback and findings we gathered while working with our partners, we developed an open-source 24/7 toolkit that enables commonly needed functionalities for companies building dApps for the 24/7 use case. It allows these companies to have a strong foundation, meaning they aren’t starting from scratch with their development. Here are some examples of applications for the SDK:
- Data collection: The toolkit offers an API for collecting consumption and generation data in real-time. Data granularity (e.g., MWh vs kWh vs Wh) and time intervals (e.g., 15 vs 30 minutes) can be configurable. The API documentation is available here, and the GitHub repository is here.
- Collecting granular data is only possible if data is available. Granular tracking of renewables generation is already a common practice today, unlike for consumption. Many consumers (especially those renting their premises) receive verified consumption bills only once a year. So having highly granular knowledge of consumption (e.g., an hourly level) is a significant improvement and should be the first step towards 24/7 green energy.
- Digital certificate issuance: Based on generation data, digital Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) are created on the blockchain (Energy Web Chain). These certificates can accommodate various attributes and can conform with the data requirements of the existing tracking systems. Now, the SDK creates EACs based on real-time data, but in the future EW is planning to incorporate onchain elements for validated (“settlement”) data as well.
- Matching consumption and generation: After the generation and consumption data for a specific time period is collected, the matching algorithm is executed. Available generation is matched with the consumption of that time period (e.g. 12:00:00–12:30:00). When there are multiple generation volumes that can fill the same consumption volume, a prioritization mechanism defines which generation is used to cover consumption first. Every consumer can define matching characteristics, dictating what generation should be prioritized.
- For example, a consumer might prefer smaller-scale solar assets in the nearest proximity. The transfer, matching, and prioritization logic is defined in agreements between consumers and producers or in some cases also energy suppliers that sit between generator and consumer. Agreements are highly dependent on local market characteristics. The 24/7 toolkit covers basic scenarios (with different priority levels for consumers and generators) that can be configured or customized based on a specific use case.
- Reporting: Data about granular generation, consumption, matches, surpluses, and deficits can be displayed in user-friendly and verifiable reports. With the help of onchain EACs, renewable energy buyers have a verifiable and credible way of claiming their sustainability achievements.
Working with our Partners
We worked with three partners on three separate proof-of-concept use cases when developing the EW 24/7 toolkit.
Elia Group and Energy Web successfully executed a proof-of-concept for 24/7 green energy tracking, as part of our ongoing partnership. Elia wanted to offer a solution aligned with its customer-centric electricity system vision, which could improve renewable energy traceability. We worked with them on a PoC which applied 15-minute energy certificates onto Elia’s ‘Exchange of Energy Blocks’ (EEOB) hub to allow for transparent, highly traceable energy transactions.
SB Energy, one of Japan’s largest renewables companies, implemented a pilot for providing Japanese electricity consumers with the origin of their electricity on a 24/7 basis. EW worked with SB Energy to develop a platform capable of real-time data collection on a 30-minute basis, matching consumption and generation based on specific consumer criteria.
In response to Shell’s customers’ changing needs and the movement towards 24/7 green energy, Shell partnered with EW to develop a solution with the aim to provide 24/7 insights on renewable electricity consumption. The solution is designed to match energy production and consumption on a 30-minute basis along the energy supply chain in a transparent, trusted way. As a first step, Shell successfully concluded a PoC to showcase the technical feasibility and customer value proposition of granular matching of renewable energy using blockchain technology.
Earlier this year, Shell, Energy Web and AI for Good hosted a webinar to discuss 24/7 Clean Energy, which you can view here.
Evolution of the Toolkit
As this is the first release of the toolkit, we’re looking forward to working on it and developing its capabilities further. Energy Web welcomes companies to work on these improvements alongside us to foster lessons in how 24/7 clean energy can best be implemented. Among other functionalities, Energy Web is considering incorporating the following under the general Green Proof work stream:
- Digital Identities (DIDs) for a more seamless creation of DIDs for organizations, devices, and users and decentralized role and data management.
- Matching validation via a decentralized system to ensure consumption and generation are matched properly, with the results recorded on-chain
- Usage of settlement (validated) data in addition to real-time data
Note that the current toolkit does not initially provide integration with an official tracking system because, among other reasons, the overwhelming majority of the current tracking systems do not track renewable energy on a 24/7 basis. Some standards tracking registries are, however, exploring the 24/7 topic actively, with the M-RETS registry in the US seeming to be at the forefront.
There are great initiatives like EnergyTag that are working on introducing a standard for 24/7 clean energy and incorporating it with the existing tracking systems, which involves numerous challenges. Energy Web is continuing to investigate tracking system integration further.
Today, adopting a strategy for 24/7 clean energy remains a luxury for most corporate renewable energy buyers. Achieving 24/7 clean energy is a long-term vision, even for those who are already in the game. At Energy Web, we believe that open-source decentralized tech can help ease this decarbonization journey and hope the first version of the 24/7 toolkit provides the digital groundwork to track and match renewable energy consumption and generation on a 24/7 basis. Having this information is the first necessary step in the 24/7 journey: the knowledge of granular energy performance will help corporates to optimize their energy consumption and make decisions about load shifting and storage solutions.
We welcome any interested technology and energy companies to get in touch and to work with us on growing the functionalities of the toolkit.
For more information on the distinction between yearly and granular renewables, please see this Stanford article.
Additionally, you can read here about the UN’s 24/7 Carbon-free Energy Compact, a set of principles for achieving the matching of consumption with clean energy generation, and find here sector association Eurelectric’s white paper on 24/7 matching.
24/7 Clean Energy is an innovative new practice, which is not the only solution for clean electricity consumption or a universal one. You can read more on the debate around the different approaches to clean grids here.
About Energy Web
Energy Web is a global, member-driven non-profit 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.
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