Blockchain Technology in the Energy Sector: A Systematic Review of Challenges and Opportunities


Presented by: Merlinda Andoni, Research Associate, Heriot-Watt University and Valentin Robu, Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University

Blockchains have attracted considerable interest and are reported as a promising technology that could deliver significant benefits and innovation in the energy sector. The webinar will provide a comprehensive overview of fundamental principles that underpin blockchain technologies, such as system architectures and distributed consensus algorithms. Next, we provide an overview of blockchain solutions and business cases in the energy industry. This summarises the results of a comprehensive review of the potential of blockchain technology in the energy industry, which the presenters completed for the National Research Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI) in the UK.
Our review included 140 blockchain initiatives (both research projects and start-ups), which are systematically classified into different groups according to their field of activity, implementation platform and consensus strategy used. Opportunities, best practices and challenges encountered will be discussed for a number of applications, ranging from emerging peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading and Internet of Things (IoT), to automation of decentralised marketplaces, EV charging and e-mobility. The webinar concludes with a discussion of challenges and market barriers the technology needs to overcome for mainstream adoption.

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INTENDED AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in learning the basic principles of blockchain technologies and their relevance to smart grid techniques and applications in the energy sector. The tutorial is introductory and requires no prior knowledge.


ABOUT THE SPEAKERS: Merlinda Andoni and Dr. Valentin Robu

July 25th Webinar PresentersMerlinda Andoni is a Research Associate at Heriot-Watt University working for the UK National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI). Part of her research involves the investigation of blockchain technology as an enabler for the low carbon energy transition and multi-agent systems modelling for decentralised energy systems. Merlinda is currently working towards a Ph.D. degree in smart grids at Heriot-Watt University. She has previously worked as an energy consultant for over 140MW of renewable projects in Greece and was awarded the Academic Young Professionals Green Energy Award 2018 (sponsored by Scottish Renewables). Merlinda is a student member of IEEE, PES and Smart Grid Society and a member of the Technical Chamber of Greece.




July 25th Webinar PresentersValentin Robu is an Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, where he co-leads the Smart System Group, and a Research Associate in the Center for Collective Intelligence Group at MIT. His research interests cover distributed Artificial Intelligence, multi-agent systems and their applications to a variety of areas, especially smart energy systems, logistics, asset monitoring and robotics. He has published widely in these areas, and collaborated with researchers from a variety of universities and companies. He is a Principal or Co-Investigator in several large-scale UK projects, including the UK National Systems Integration (CESI), Community Energy Demand Reduction in India (CEDRI), Network Constraint Early Warning Systems (NCEWS), ORCA Hub (Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets).


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