South Korea’s largest power utility company, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has just announced its plans to create a microgrid based on blockchain technology. The microgrid will be called Future Micro Grid (FMG) and was announced on the 18th of November by KEPCO’s CEO and President Kim Jong-gap.

He explained that the proposed “KEPCO Open MG” framework will aim to create a new kind of “open energy community”. The goal is to bring together already functioning elements of microgrid technology and enhance their capabilities via blockchain tech.

KEPCO believe that prior microgrid setups had a very big difficulty in regards to supplying stable power to end users. The company believes that the main reason is due to the usage of small photovoltaic cells, wind turbines and energy storage devices, which are outdated. According to KEPCO the supply problem will potentially be a thing of the past with KEPCO Opem MG’s use of a fuel cell as a new and reliable power source.

The blockchain-based microgrid will offer many advantages

Electricity can be converted to hydrogen and stored until needed thanks to the power-to-gas (P2G) technology. When the need arises, electricity is instantly converted back by the use of a fuel cell. The result is a huge improvement in energy independence and efficiency when compared to current microgrids. Another huge benefit is that it doesn’t emit any greenhouse gases, which makes it environment-friendly.

On a wider perspective, KEPCO Open MG will have a positive impact on the economic development by playing a key role in the energy infrastructure. This will be a huge obstacle for the currently market-dominating hydrogen economy.

President Kim had a very positive outlook for the development and stated that:

“The three major trends in the future of the energy industry are decentralization, digitalization and decarbonization. We will aim to show the world the speed of new and renewable energy generation and energy efficient projects. Our goal is to take a huge step forward as an energy platform in order to provide energy and digital conversion.”

With blockchain implementation, electricity will be tradeable across many microgrids. This will remove the existing connection bottleneck that limits opportunities for microgrid growth. This will allow network operators, customers and other stakeholders to actively take part in the market and interact beneficially with each other unlike the previous situation with different technical standarts.

The company still has large expectations and further revealed their plans for the construction of the world’s first mega-wattage-energy-independent microgrid under the KEPCO Open MG framework. Further announcements will most likely be made before the end of the year. There are currently ongoing talks among various stakeholders in the microgrid ecosystem.

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