InDEED

Design, implementation and evaluation of an energy industry data platform based on a block chain for the use cases "labeling" and "asset logging"

InDEED

The InDEED research project aims to implement the concept of a distributed data platform on a block chain basis for applications in the energy industry both in practice and in theoretical scientific evaluation. The focus is on analyses of potential, system repercussions, changed value-added structures and value propositions as well as scalability.

The aim of using block chain technology is to create the possibility of realizing platforms that are equally accessible to all players. Thus, the distributed data platform primarily serves the purpose of not leaving the data-based value creation to individual market-dominating monopolists, but rather to make it decentralized, just like the energy turnaround, and to allow small players to participate in digital value creation.

Name InDEED
Funding Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi)
Funding number according to notification 03E16026A
Start 01.04.2020
Ende 31.03.2023
Project duration 36 month (3 years)
Project lead Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach

Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach

Professorship for Information Systems, Digital Business and Mobility

Content focus

In terms of content, the project concentrates on the two application areas “labeling of energy flows” and “asset logging”, for which purpose plants and end consumers will be connected to a platform to be developed in cooperation with the project partners in the field and the results evaluated in scientific analyses. Through practical implementation, experiences, data and results can be generated with as many heterogeneous participants, technologies and fields of application as possible and thus potentials can be determined.

In the context of the project, “labeling” is understood to mean the clear, transparent and tamper-proof digital representation of injection, withdrawal and storage as well as their temporal and spatial connection under consideration of physical boundary conditions. Applications in the context of labelling include the spatially and temporally high-resolution proof of green and regional electricity, regional direct marketing and cross-sectoral guarantees of origin.

The documentation of plants (“asset logging”) comprises the recording of operating, maintenance and repair data of (energy industry) plants by means of measuring systems, testing bodies or other appropriate sources. The tamper-proof and time-discrete storage and processing of the recorded data of individual equipment enables a wide range of applications. These range from the transparent provision of information for reselling processes to warranty and liability certificates and internal process optimisation (predictive maintenance).

The aim of using block chain technology is to create the possibility of implementing platforms that are equally accessible to all players. Thus, the distributed data platform primarily serves the purpose of not leaving the data-based value creation to individual market-dominating monopolists, but rather to make it decentralized, just like the energy turnaround, and to allow small players to share in the digital value creation.

Research question

The project focuses on the development of methods and models, among other things to address the selected, subsequent research questions:

  • Which use cases from the application fields “Labeling” and “Asset Logging” can be realized on the platform?
  • Which types of blockchains are best suited for the respective application?
  • Which technical governance model is appropriate in the energy sector for the declared objectives?
  • How can the integration of hardware such as IoT devices into block chain systems be made efficient and secure?
  • How can data protection be guaranteed from the technical side and by design?
  • How can the platform handle high data turnover as well as possible and what are suitable storage concepts?
  • Which roles act on the platform and how do they differ in decentralized systems?
  • Which functions and components benefit from a decentralized implementation compared to (existing) central platform concepts?
  • In which process steps of the different applications does the block chain technology offer which added value?
  • How is the theoretical, technical, economic and practical potential of the use cases in Germany to be assessed?
  • What are the requirements and challenges for the technical programming implementation and scalability of the platform?
  • How can the platform be scaled?
  • What practical obstacles stand in the way of implementation? What recommendations for action can be derived from this?

The project is based on a transdisciplinary research approach from the energy industry, information technology and law and regulation. The consortium is divided into research partners with different focuses (FfE e. V., FfE GmbH, University of Bayreuth and Stiftung Umweltenergierecht). Furthermore, associated partners with different competences and focal points along the entire energy industry value chain are involved in the project and support the project with financial contributions, expert knowledge and practical field experience.

The role of the University of Bayreuth in the project

In the project, the University of Bayreuth is primarily concerned with the technical conception, implementation and support of the field test. This includes the conception of the block chain architecture and the technical governance model and the implementation of both fields of application on the platform. In addition, tests are carried out both in a controlled environment and in a field trial. Furthermore, the work of the University of Bayreuth includes the evaluation of the platform with regard to its scalability, sustainability and replicability and the resulting action results. The communication of the scientific results and their public communication is also a priority.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) (funding code: 03E16026A).