Last summer, two students participating in the Sustainable Energy Systems & Markets dual degree at NTNU/TU Berlin participated in a joint internship with NTNU and IOTA. IOTA is a not-for-profit distributed ledger technology (DLT) company that aims to support frictionless data and value transfer, with a use case specializing in Internet of Things (IoT). As opposed to other distributed ledgers, IOTA is not blockchain-based, but instead relies upon what is called a “Tangle.” Traditional blockchains use “miners” to provide what is called “Proof of Work” to perform computational work required to add a block to the chain (if you are not familiar with the concept of blockchain, this is a good place to start). In the Tangle, however, each transaction verifies two other transactions, removing the computationally intensive step of Proof of Work. This greatly reduces energy requirements, and makes an open, feeless, and scalable distributed ledger possible.
The goal of this internship was to research potential synergies between NTNU and IOTA. Towards this goal, the students compiled a “state-of-the-art” review of current energy trading platforms and other blockchain-related companies, simulated test cases in various localities based on availability of detailed demand data, and used test case results to provide useful KPIs for IOTA and Alpha Venturi, an IOTA-based IoT and Digital Economy company. The findings from this internship help lay the foundation for future use of DLT in peer-to-peer energy trading applications.