Shell Subsidiary Builds DLT-Based Virtual Power Plant in Germany

Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary Sonnen Group announced a partnership with the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) to use EWF’s blockchain to create a virtual power plant (VPP) in Germany on March 12.

The virtual power plant will comprise a distributed network of residential energy storage systems intended to absorb excess wind power and reduce Germany’s renewable energy curtailment. 

With Germany shutting down coal fired and nuclear energy plants in the coming years, the country has seen a boom in renewable energy production as a myriad of green energy producers launch or expand operations to meet demand.

However, the seasonal nature of both power and production and electricity demand has led to a glut of renewable wastage. During 2018, Germany curtailed 5.4 terra-watt hours (TWh) of renewable energy in total, while in just the first quarter of 2019, Germany curtailed 3.2 TWh of wind energy.

Sonnen’s VPP will support its regional power grid by absorbing excess wind energy stored across a network of the company’s proprietary “Sonnenbatteries” which are networked using distributed ledger technology to form the new virtual power plant.

Transactions between the grid and Sonnen are executed through smart contracts, with transaction fees processed in the form of the Dai Stablecoin.

Through averting an overload to the power grid, the blockchain-based VPP hopes to facilitate further expansion of Germany’s renewable energy production.

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