Practical example and current challenges
- Climate change and the need to avoid emissions require action. Processes and industries that have been established for years are changing and learning to think in new ways. In the energy sector, for example, a shift toward more sustainable energy production can be observed. End customers are increasingly requesting that energy consumed, or goods consumed are produced sustainably. Therefore, there is a need for a way to prove the method of electricity generation.
- Currently, there is no standardized system for proving the origin of energy. There are only energy-specific, individual solutions (e.g., Guarantee of Origin (GO), Register of Guarantees of Origin (HKN), Green Electricity Label, Green Gas Certificate). These individual solutions are based on different standards and have a different focus in terms of sustainability criteria (e.g., efficiency, effectiveness, emissions). They cannot be combined and therefore do not meet the future requirement of a holistic, end-to-end energy system. Energy suppliers must have the opportunity to develop new business models so that the investments in a "zero carbon economy" can be refinanced. To enable this, reliable guarantees of origin are needed as a basis for the development of new business models.
- Based on a decentralized digital infrastructure (realized by means of distributed ledger technology (DLT, "blockchain")), a new certification system for the proof of origin of energy can be implemented, which compensates for the weaknesses of the current systems. In addition to providing proof of the type of electricity generation process, it is possible to extend it along the entire value chain to final consumption. Furthermore, parameters such as degree of efficiency and emissions can likewise be identified and considered along the entire chain.
- In concrete terms, DLT offers the possibility of implementing certification processes based on a decentralized digital infrastructure in a secure, automated and non-manipulable manner. The goal is to develop a technical system for the automated certification of renewable energy and the management of certificates and to test it within a real laboratory.
- Process automation results in a reduction of costs and effort. The use of DLT additionally provides the automated system with forgery protection and transparency. As a result, trust is created between the actors participating in the system.
What added value does the "GAIA-X project" offer?
- Gaia-X enables the establishment of a partner ecosystem for the creation of automated sustainability certificates valid across Europe. The certificates are issued across sectors along the entire value chain (e.g., from wind turbines to hydrogen for green transportation with renewable fuels).
- With the help of Gaia-X, European standards can be created for digital collaboration within the partner ecosystem for certifying the origin of energy.
- Gaia-X increases end-to-end security for the transfer of data between third-party assets and applications.
- Gaia-X delivers a secure, transparent, and GDPR-compliant ecosystem that enables collaboration among different stakeholders inside and outside the energy sector.
- Gaia-X ensures the development, implementation and testing of the described solution in an international framework.
Use Case Team
- Prof. Dr. Michael Laskowski – E.ON
- Prof. Dr. Monika Sturm – Siemens
- Dr. Andreas Breuer – Westnetz