An EU initiative is making great strides in developing a decentralised and cost-efficient energy trading platform to create climate-friendly and sustainable urban environments.
The clean energy transition is a key aspect of smart city initiatives aimed at creating climate-friendly and sustainable urban areas. With its vision to establish a 100 % renewable energy city-region by 2050, the EU-funded CityxChange project focuses on developing and deploying positive energy blocks and districts and scaling them out across several EU cities. The aim is to help achieve European clean energy transition goals. The creation of positive energy blocks leading to positive energy districts and cities involves the use of energy reduction and efficiency measures, local renewables and local storage, as well as peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading.
CityxChange project partner IOTA Stiftung has been selected as a key innovator within the European Commission’s Innovation Radar initiative that identifies high-potential innovations and innovators in EU-funded research and innovation framework programmes and assesses their market readiness. In addition to IOTA, partners Powel AS and ABB AS were also selected as key innovators. The maturity category assigned to the project is “business ready”, according to the Innovation Radar website. This classification covers innovations “for which concrete market-oriented ideas have been put together (e.g. market studies, business plans, end-user engagement). They are considered advanced on market preparation but further progress on technology development is required (about 20 % of all innovations are in this category).”
A news item states: “IOTA’s technology enables energy meters to communicate automatically and exchange important information. The energy can be requested and offered decentrally. All processes are handled via the Tangle, so the marketplace works completely decentralized without any middlemen.” Through this system, city assets like solar rooftops, buildings, electrical vehicles and batteries can trace and trade electricity in real time to balance the power supply and demand in a decentralised and cost-efficient way within a P2P network.
The Tangle, an open, feeless and scalable distributed ledger, supports frictionless data and value transfer that involves the Internet of things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) interactions. In addition to energy trading, “IOTA also takes on far-reaching tasks in the field of e-mobility,” as noted in the same news item. Together with FourC, an M2M/IoT cloud infrastructure company, “IOTA is working on the development of an infrastructure that enables users to book multimodal journeys via different transport providers and to pay automatically with MIOTA.”The CityxChange (Positive City ExChange) project is developing demonstration cases in the lighthouse cities of Limerick, Ireland, and Trondheim, Norway, that will be replicated in five follower cities: Smolyan (Bulgaria), Písek (Czech Republic), Võru (Estonia), Sestao (Spain), and Alba Iulia (Romania). The framework being adopted in these demo projects will enable the creation of a common energy market and connected communities, and it will also include recommendations for new policy interventions, market regulations and business models, as explained on the project website. The ongoing CityxChange project focuses on different areas of the future energy-positive smart city. The project will run until October 2023.