The energy sector has started to explore digitization since its emergence almost 50 years ago and is therefore considered to be one of the pioneering industries to adopt the phenomenon. Since then, the industry has benefited greatly from digitized processes and technologies, which allowed it to achieve new levels of efficiency that is to the adoption of data gathering, transactions, analysis and automation.
As one of the offsprings of digitization, commercial Smart Meters brought the reporting of electricity consumption, the gathering of energy data and its analysis to a whole new level for both the end consumer and the utility companies. Unlike traditional electricity meters, which simply track total electricity consumption over a certain time horizon and have to be monitored manually, smart meters are equipped with a digital data transmission facility, which allows consumers and utilities to bi-directionally communicate and manage electricity consumption and
Production (Source: German Energy Agency). Furthermore, they can potentially spot energy inefficiencies in certain devices, be programmed to detect network failures and initiate safety precautions if a dangerous situation occurs.
Today, Smart Meters are no longer considered a new invention in the energy sector, yet they still have room for improvement. Having acquired widespread worldwide adoption for more than a decade now, Smart Technologies have proven themselves to be a viable asset and they have been the target of extensive research by utility companies looking to improve their performance even further. Integration to IoT devices and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Algorithms are considered to be the next step for Smart Meters, allowing utility companies to automate the analysis of data gathered by Smart Meters and the generation of energy saving mechanisms.
Blockchain and Smart Meters have much to offer
With the recent advent of blockchain technology, the full potential of Smart Meters can be unfolded. Although yet largely unexplored, several use cases between the revolutionary technologies have been suggested.
Blockchain has enabled new peer-to-peer trading mechanisms based on decentralized technologies, such as blockchain, which, due to its immutability, allows for the creation of fully decentralized P2P trading platforms that do not require any intermediaries to operate. This not only provides an added layer of security, but also lowers the cost for the parties involved in an exchange due to the lack of fees imposed on them by third parties. It has to be taken into account that blockchain transaction are still somewhat lacking in terms of speed and cost and do require so called gas fees for each transaction, however, distributed ledger technologies have come a long way since their foundation and are being further improved. Smart Meters can potentially exchange complex information with these platforms...
Another promising concept in the energy sector enabled by blockchain technology are the local microgrids and the energy trading between producers and consumers in local communities, making them potentially independent from the centralized grid and utility companies. For example, a local producer of energy who uses rooftop photovoltaic panels can sell his excessive self-produced energy to peers and neighbors, allowing him to receive fair compensation for his energy.
Smart Meters are not without problems, though, and this creates yet another opportunity for blockchain to step in. Smart grids are infrastructure systems prone to structural vulnerabilities and due to being digitized, can suffer from cybersecurity issues that can have devastating effects. Data manipulation and theft can cause potential losses for utility companies and consumers, made evident in 2016 when Russian hackers shut down the parts of Ukraine’s power grid. This is where blockchain can help - with its improved security through private-public encryption and decentralized storage of data across multiple nodes, cyber attacks are much more difficult compared to a traditional network.
LCG Energy to bridge the gap between Smart Meters and blockchain technology
The LCG Energy project creates a sustainable energy ecosystem that will make all energy related services much more affordable and easily accessible to a worldwide user base. Additionally, direct customers of LCG Energy that have access to their traditional services will be able to enjoy further benefits from the blockchain initiative of the company, such as a revolutionary integration of their Smart Meters with blockchain technology.
The LCG Energy blockchain-based platform will be the heart of the LCG Energy ecosystem and will provide users with access to a wide array of energy services and products, with the LCG token facilitating all transactions.
One of the highlights of the LCG platform is the open marketplace where LCG token holders will be able to choose renewable energy projects to invest in. All of the projects listed on the platform will be added to land registers to ensure their full legal conformity and offer investors maximum security for their investment. Initially, LCG Energy will evaluate, select the projects that hold the highest expected returns and crowdinvest the funds acquired through the ICO in the most promising ones. All activities of the company related to the investments will be kept on the blockchain and will thus be visible for all members of the ecosystem, assuring the full transparency of the amount of funds invested as well as the returns.
As an experienced energy reseller, the LCG Energy company has been engaged in trading energy on the open markets since 2009 with a bottom-line financial performance of over 20% positive net return. The expertise of LCG Energy in trading will allow the company to efficiently invest the funds it acquires through the token sale and further benefit from the scaling effects by using the combined investment power of the LCG community, resulting in more value for the LCG token holders by distributing approximately 20% more energy than they would otherwise acquire themselves. As with any activity of the company, all transactions related to the acquisition of energy will occur on the blockchain and will be fully traceable for all LCG token holders.