China's State Electricity Firm Eyes Blockchain for Internet of Energy

China State Grid Corporation, the country's state-owned power utility, is looking to blockchain to advance its plans for an "Internet of Energy."

Apr 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:48 a.m. UTC

China State Grid Corporation, the country's state-owned electricity utility monopoly, is looking to blockchain technology to advance its plans for an "Internet of Energy."

In a patent application filed to the China State Intellectual Property Office in November last year and released last week, the energy giant has detailed its exploration of a blockchain-powered system that it claims can store and track information on, for example, consumer's power consumption, and share the data in a decentralized manner.

According to the filing, the idea behind the utility's Internet of Energy, a concept that references the internet of things, is to integrate more information about electricity consumption and generation onto the internet to facilitate data tracking on web-enabled devices.

The company explained in the application that centralizing such a system may incur higher operational costs in handling the vast amount of data, and may also bring a higher risk of security breaches. Hence, the corporation is proposing a decentralized system that can pass newly generated data through a hash function and store the results on a tamper-proof blockchain.

While the patent's concept may appear similar to the basic mechanism of the original blockchain – that of bitcoin – it comes as yet another move from a major Chinese state enterprise to explore and potentially adopt blockchain technology in advancing business operations.

As reported by CoinDesk, Sinochem, China's state-owned petrochemical giant, recently completed a trial that used blockchain technology to export gasoline from the Chinese city of Quanzhou to Singapore.

In addition, Bank of China, one of the four state-owned commercial banks, has also moved to patent a solution that it claims has the ability to solve the scaling issues that confront blockchains.

See the patent application below:

Electricity pylons image via Shutterstock

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