Blockchain can help EV drivers use more renewable energy

In collaboration with the Danish company EURISCO, we have tested how to use blockchain-based technologies to verify the carbon footprint of charging an electric vehicle. The ultimate objective is to help EV drivers use more renewable energy to power their cars.

Recent years have seen a rise in the demand for electric vehicles as a sustainable alternative to conventional cars. But how do you know if your car is actually powered by renewable sources and not by fossil fuels?

In collaboration with EURISCO, we have run a conceptual development project to test how blockchain and smart contracts can be used to manage power production and consumption and to verify the carbon footprint of charging an electric vehicle. The purpose is to enable people to charge their cars with green power whenever possible.

The advantage of blockchain is that it offers high-level security and transparency – also in non-financial transactions.

In this project, the Alexandra Institute has provided expertise in blockchain and cryptographic technologies as well as practical implementation.

The solution consists of a ‘suitcase’ with four controllers that register electricity production or consumption. The data is then recorded in the blockchain with a timestamp. The blockchain technology is based on the Ethereum platform, and the hardware nodes are Raspberry Pi’s and Arduino.

The smart contracts in the blockchain contain a complete history of consumption and production, which is used to visualise the overall energy exchange. With the demo suitcase, EURISCO has been able to conduct a small-scale test of the technology. Next step is to demonstrate if technology can be used in an electric vehicle to indicate how much green energy is used for charging – for instance by means of an app.

On a previous occasion, the Alexandra Institute collaborated with EURISCO to develop a small-scale proof-of-concept for the use of blockchain in a local micro grid with a number of power-producing units (solar panels, wind turbines etc.) and a number of consumers (buildings, charging stations etc.).

Blockchain is a database distributed among several parties in such a way that it allows them to perform transactions without necessarily having to trust each other.

In technical terms, blockchain consists of a chain of data blocks. New blocks can be added, but no blocks in the chain can ever be removed or changed. Various cryptographic techniques are used to validate data entered into a new block in order to achieve immutability – meaning that data cannot be deleted or altered.

Just as ordinary computer programs can be stored as data, special programs can be stored on certain types of blockchain. These programs are called smart contracts. The execution of such programs is managed by mechanisms that resemble those that control how and when new blocks can be added.

A smart contract is for example a program that transfers digital money when a triggering event occurs. The term contract is used because smart contracts facilitate or enforce transactions between two or more parties. The contracts are protected by the blockchain they have been entered into, thus making them irreversible and unchangeable.

Our partners in this project are EURISCO and Green Tech Center.

EURISCO is a Danish engineering company that develops software solutions for energy systems.  

Green Tech Center is an innovation hub and living lab for green technologies.

The demonstration project is funded by the Danish innovation network Smart Energy (Inno-SE).

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Senior Security Architect
Security Lab
+45 20 29 63 22
Michael Bladt Stausholm See profile