DigiBlocks, a new research programme led by Dr Susan Rea (CONNECT Funded Investigator) and Dr Alan McGibney (CONNECT Research Fellow) at Cork Institute of Technology, is to be funded by the Department for Communications, Climate Action and Environment via an award from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). DigiBlocks will run for the next 26 months.
A total of €8 million has been awarded to 45 innovative energy projects led by companies and research institutions across Ireland. The successful projects aim to develop solutions that will help homes, businesses and communities deliver a cleaner energy future.
DigiBlocks will investigate the application of blockchain technology to district-scale energy services in order to provide a trusted mechanism for data provenance, traceability and verification. DigiBlocks will help facilitate the transformation of the energy sector through digitisation and support the fundamental shift in the energy landscape from a rigid centralised infrastructure towards decentralisation and energy-based communities, motivated in part by the increasing penetration of renewables and need for cities to move towards being positive energy districts.
To support the transition to positive energy blocks, DigiBlocks is moving beyond the level of individual buildings and blocks of buildings to district-scale and will provide a suite of blockchain tools and services to provide an innovative solution for district energy management, which considers the interaction and integration between the district buildings, the users/citizens and the wider energy system.
CONNECT is the world leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications. CONNECT is funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund. We engage with over 35 companies including large multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. CONNECT brings together world-class expertise from ten Irish academic institutes to create a one-stop-shop for telecommunications research, development and innovation.