Smart Contracts in Energy Systems

Presented by: Dr. Desen Kirli, Dr. Benoit Couraud, and Dr. Valentin Robu

Given the ongoing transition towards a more decentralised energy system, the potential of blockchain-enabled smart contracts for the energy sector is being increasingly recognised. Due to their self-executing and tamper-proof nature, they are a key technology for enabling the transition to a more efficient, transparent and transactive energy market. Their applications include coordination of smart electric vehicle charging, automated demand-side response, peer-to-peer energy trading and allocation of control duties amongst the network operators. Nevertheless, their use in the energy sector is still in its early stages as there are many challenges related to security and scalability. In this webinar, we reflect our findings from the systematic review of 178 peer-reviewed publications and 13 innovation projects. This webinar offers a broad perspective on the opportunities and challenges that stakeholders using this technology face, in current and emergent markets. We demonstrate a systematic model of the smart contracting process, by using our novel 6-layer architecture, and share our open-source sample energy contract code. We focus on two mainstream application areas identified as; energy and flexibility trading, and distributed control. The webinar concludes with a critical discussion of the challenges and a set of recommendations that researchers should consider when applying smart contracts in energy systems. 


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Smart grid researchers, Energy engineers, Power system engineers, Energy market analysts/specialists, Blockchain specialists, Energy systems researchers, Energy system modellers.


kirli croppedDesen Kirli received her M.Eng. in sustainable energy engineering in 2018 from School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, and recently successfully defended her PhD at the same institution (August 2022). Following this, she investigated the impact of peer-to-peer energy trading and distributed energy storage on the electricity distribution network for her PhD studies. During this period, she went on an industry secondment and contributed energy system models, network simulations and household and community-level optimisation algorithms to the Zonal Use of Systems (ZUoS) project at Scene Connect.  Currently, she works as a Research Associate on the Decarbonisation of Heating and Cooling (DISPATCH) project, at the University of Edinburgh. Her work includes simulation and investigation of multi-vector energy systems to ensure a bottom-up and inclusive transition towards a net zero future.

benoit croppedBenoit Couraud received the engineering degree from Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France, in 2009, and the M.Sc. degree in electronic and electrical engineering from Shanghai JiaoTong University, China, in 2009. He received his Ph.D. degree on power transfer optimization for IoT solutions at the University of Aix Marseille, Marseille, France, in 2017. He is currently leading the data science team at IMREDD, university Cote d’Azur, and is a research associate at Heriot Watt University, working on artificial intelligence, local electricity market solutions, electrical grid modelling and optimization tools for renewable energy integration and smart grids solutions.

robu croppedValentin Robu received the MSc from VU Amsterdam, in 2003 and Ph.D. degree from the TU Eindhoven, The Netheralnds. Before October 2020, he was an associate professor at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, U.K. He is currently senior staff researcher at CWI, National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science, Amsterdam, and a part-time associate professor, TU Delft, The Netherlands. He is also a research affiliate at the Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT in the US. He has published over 180 papers in top-ranked journals and conferences, both in the areas of AI, energy and electrical engineering. He served as PI and Co-I in several national smart energy-focused research projects, including the UK National Centre for Energy Systems Integration, Offshore Robotics hub for Certification of Assets (ORCA Hub), and Responsive Flexibility (ReFlex), the UK's largest smart energy demonstrator. His work was distinguished by several prizes, including the IET 2019 Innovation of the Year Award, for his work with Scottish Power Energy Networks.

Tags & Topics for This Webinar:

Blockchain; Data privacy; Decentralised energy systems; Distributed ledger; Energy management; Energy markets; Energy trading; Energy smart contracts; Local energy markets; Local energy systems; Peer-to-peer trading; Power systems; Smart charging; Smart contracts; Smart energy contracts; Smart grids; Transactive energy




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