The US Congressional Research Service has released a report that examines the potential advantages and disadvantages of using blockchain-based solutions for the energy sector.
The Congressional Research Service published its findings in a report entitled “Bitcoin, Blockchain and the Energy Sector”. In the report, the research team noted that the launch of a blockchain-based solution that allows consumers to purchase energy services within a distributed system can make the energy system more transparent, efficient and flexible for the consumer. However, the release of such a service is fraught with potential problems related to distribution management, as well as cybersecurity.
The report cites the results of a survey conducted by the US Electric Power Research Institute. During the survey, 77% of respondents stated that there are no appropriate standards for implementing blockchain solutions in the energy sector. The report also says that utility companies in the United States are only conducting research or testing blockchain-based programs, while some European utility companies have been using the technology for more than a year.
In particular, the problems of the United States are caused by the fact that state and federal authorities have different responsibilities in relation to the implementation of energy laws. The report notes that states usually have jurisdiction over retail electricity transactions, while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission oversees wholesale transactions and the transmission of electricity for interstate commerce.
Thus, it is extremely important for the sector to have a clear regulatory framework regarding whether distributed energy operations will be considered resale or wholesale.
Recently it became known that the US Department of Energy allocated
$1.05 million for the development of a blockchain platform for energy distribution management. In April, it was reported that the Ministry of Energy will use blockchain at power plants to combat cyber attacks. Last year, the ministry collaborated with BlockCypher to develop solutions that allow transactions to be carried out in several blockchains. In addition, in January, the Ministry announced federal funding of $4.8 million for university research in the field of new technologies, including blockchain.