- The IOTA Foundation presented the current progress of the “IOTA Energy Marketplace”.
- The IOTA Asset Module, a hardware component, was developed in order to integrate every producing and consuming device into the marketplace.
In a presentation for the TM Forum, Dr. Michele Nati, Head of the Telecommunications and Infrastructure Development Division of the IOTA Foundation, gave an insight into the “IOTA Energy Marketplace” project. The core question of the project is to investigate whether a city or district can only consume the energy it produces itself. The IOTA Foundation believes that this is possible with the help of “Positive Energy Districts”.
To do this, the districts must use renewable energy, balance peak loads, shift loads and control demand. This is made possible by new technologies in the field of renewable energies. Dr. Nati cited the Brattørkaia powerhouse in Trondheim, which is part of the CityxChange project and is funded by the European Union.
As Dr. Nati further determined, energy-positive districts need an infrastructure to coordinate the transport of electricity from A to B. This requires three layers: a data layer, a transparency layer and a payment layer. The first layer ensures that “suppliers and consumers can advertise energy flexibility to optimize demand and supply and load balancing in a plug-and-play and verifiable manner”.
The Transparency Layer ensures transparency, for example to promote “green energy” that can be traced back to its source. The Payment Layer, based on the IOTA token, enables micro payments between supplier and consumer, reduces costs and enables new business models, such as payments per Use.
Compared to blockchain technology, IOTA can meet the necessary technical requirements, as Dr. Nati noted:
IOTA can be that technology. IOTA will overcome the lmitations of blockchain technologies, creating and immutable data transfer, which is highly scalable and quantum resitent. Another advantage of IOTA technology compared to blockchains technology is that it is zero-fee transactions.
How the “IOTA Energy Marketplace” works
Homeowners who generate renewable energy should be able to participate without major challenges through the “IOTA Energy Marketplace”. They should be able to “autonomously advertise my energy flexibility to my neighbors and automatically match it with adequate, to deliver the burst of power smoothly at just agreed upon moments, and then be compensated through convertible vouchers using distributed ledgers, digital assets and electronic micro transaction currency.”
In terms of architecture, “it all sits on the Tangle,” as Dr. Nati pointed out. The architecture of the software is as follows:
IOTA Energy Marketplace features include a registration function, functions to view and configure assets, a function to create new assets and an audit log for selected assets.
Furthermore, the IOTA Foundation has also developed a hardware component (“IOTA Asset Module”) that can be connected to any producing and consuming device. This generates the data transactions on the IOTA Tangle to participate in the marketplace. Moreover, the module has an integrated wallet to send and receive IOTA token and to buy or sell electricity with them. Currently, the module is being tested in a proof of concept at NTNU University in Trondheim.
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