The US government has announced that it will be adding its financial support to 80 small businesses across 26 states. The 95 grants will be of a million each and include the development of a blockchain energy grid. The report from the department of energy states:
Small businesses that demonstrated technical feasibility for innovations during their Phase I grants competed for funding for prototype or processes development during Phase II. In addition, prior Phase II awardees competed for sequential Phase II awards to continue prototype and process development. The median Phase II award is $1,000,000 for a period of two years.
The blockchain business award in question is entitled “E-Blockchain: A Scalable Platform for Secure Energy Transactions and Control”, and will come from the Office of Fossil Energy. The award of just under $1 million will go to Grid7, who are aiming to build a decentralized energy ledger that shares data on usage from homes. The goal of this is to increase efficiency in distribution as well as benefiting from the increased level of protection against cyber-attacks that a blockchain infrastructure brings.
Of course, the main goal with blockchain in the energy sector is to better and more efficiently harness the power of renewable sources. That’s why Grid7 will be developing their system to run on solar power. And the reduced cost of managing data could be enormous. As Technology Review explained back in October 2017, “When a renewable-power plant generates a unit of electricity today, a meter spits out data that gets logged in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is then sent to a registry provider, where the data gets entered into a new system and a certificate is created. A second set of intermediaries brokers deals between buyers and sellers of these certificates, and yet another party verifies the certificates after they are purchased.” Of course, if this data was immediately placed on a blockchain, this large and onerous task list would disappear. Now, Grid7 will be using their government grant to see if they can make this a reality.