Internet Think Tank is leading research in maturing the use of blockchains for dynamic energy trading in community microgrids, and especially for enhancing the resiliency of power grids. Blockchain has been implemented in several applications in smart grid systems, such as data management and cybersecurity in utility grid systems. In addition, blockchain has been deployed in peer-to-peer electricity trading in microgrid systems. Due to the promising Blockchain features, it is considered as a good fit for energy trading. However, Blockchain applications in power grids are in their infancy, so there remains numerous opportunities in the field blockchain-supported microgrids.

Smart grids provide more efficient and reliable electric grid systems through the incorporation of digitization, communication of real time power line sensed data, and control automations. At the same time, renewable energy technologies, including solar panels and wind turbines have become more efficient and less expensive, and hence more economical, resulting in more widespread deployment of distributed energy resources (DERs) in both grid-tied and isolated microgrid configurations. With the further penetration of DERs, the power grid has become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks through these DERs. To counter this security risk to the grid, new cyber security measures are being incorporated into the grid control software to prevent any unauthorized data manipulation through the communication or the control network by implementing firewalls and data validation procedures.

With the emergence of microgrids, several renewable energy trading and compensation methods have been developed to create more income from the renewable energy systems through trading excess energy from DERs. One trading method that has evolved is peer-to-peer (P3P) trading of energy between prosumers within a microgrid. Blockchain technology has emerged as one means of this P2P energy trading due to the automated traceability and immutability features it provides without a third party to provide the trust element between traders. Besides using Blockchain for P2P energy trading, there are other significant applications and research opportunities for leveraging the special attributes of Blockchain technology in power grid systems. In our studies, Internet Think Tank reviews these applications and potential research opportunities.
Blockchain as a disruptive technology holds the potential to make a significant impact on the smart grid system. In our research, several Blockchain-based applications in smart grid systems such as cybersecurity, data management and energy trading are being studied. From a data management perspective, data aggregation and management through Blockchain can go smoother and be more trusted if implemented with the proper data storage technology such as cloud servers. In addition, Blockchain helps in managing dynamic and abruptly changing data systems. The primary application of Blockchain in smart grid systems to date is peer-to-peer energy trading within microgrids. Numerous experiments and researche studies have proved that Blockchain is able to act as a trusted autonomous electricity trading platform within microgrids. Finally, Blockchain, as a technology, is in its infancy and there is a significant opportunity for improvement to contribute to achieve 100% resilient grids of the future.

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