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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T028564/1
Title: EPSRC-SFI: Blockchain transactions in the electricity industry: beyond tokenised energy
Principal Investigator: Morstyn, Dr T
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
University College Dublin
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 August 2021 Ends: 31 August 2023 Value (£): 176,553
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Jul 2020 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel July 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are underpinned by a computer technology called blockchain, which has existed for around ten years. There are now proposals to use blockchain technologies to allow consumers to buy electricity directly from generators, in the form of tokenised energy.

This project will investigate the new opportunities that could arise if the trading of tokenised electricity gains broader adoption. In particular, the project will examine the role another new blockchain technology, known as smart contracts, can play in such a business landscape. Smart contracts allow financial and business arrangements to be codified directly into the blockchain itself, where they execute in a way that cannot be interfered with. This project will explore the potential for deploying smart contracts in various new roles connected with tokenised energy trading, for instance:

- to allow trading of other useful electricity services, such as targeting and rewarding reductions of consumption at times of high system stress;

- to coordinate the generation and consumption of electricity within local energy communities so they do not burden the physical utility network;

- to provide financial functions such as price guarantees for consumers or revenue-sharing schemes for community-owned energy resources.

A particular focus of the project will be on renewable energy: can these blockchain technologies speed up the decarbonisation of electricity grids?; and can empowering communities, consumers and renewable generators with new financial tools create a cleaner and more collaborative electricity system?

Overall, this project is a forward-looking piece of research which will guide how system operators adapt to blockchain technologies. The goal is give a well-rounded perspective on the full potential value that can be captured, rather than narrowly focusing on just the trading of tokenised energy itself. The project will show how positive interaction effects can arise, so that a vibrant blockchain sector can emerge across the electricity value chain, with each new piece of smart contract functionality complementing and adding value to the entire ecosystem.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Organisation Website: http://www.ed.ac.uk