Since October 2021, 51nodes has been supporting the Stuttgart-based electricity transmission system operator TransnetBW in exploring and determining the potential for using Self-Sovereign Identities (SSI) in network management processes.
In the digital world, people, machines and organizations need an ID to communicate with each other in a trustworthy manner. Following the example of the plastic cards in our wallets, we also need digital evidence of the capabilities of people, machines and organizations. Service providers requesting this evidence must be able to verify the evidence without contacting the issuer. When I rent a car, it is also enough to show my driver’s license and credit card – two plastic cards.
Self-Sovereign Identities (SSIs) strive to do just that, i.e., enable credentials and digital evidence of attributes and capabilities for people, machines, and organizations that can be self-managed by their respective holders in a digital ID card. Our cell phones, for example, can store this ID. And similar to giving permissions to an app on your cell phone, digital ID holders can share the credentials assigned to them with precise fit when signing up for a service.
With SSI, holders are in complete control of their identity and assigned credentials. Furthermore, time-consuming registration processes with service providers are no longer necessary, as they no longer require their own identity management. Required identity information is provided by the holder’s digital ID card in an up-to-date form at all times. SSI thus promises to overcome duplicated, expensive and inconsistent data storage across multiple application silos.
TransnetBW has now set itself the task of tapping the obviously high potential of SSI for itself. The power grid industry is still characterized by silo-like data management structures. A large number of processes such as operating reserve, bottleneck management, and the collection of levies for renewable energy sources and for CHP are supported by IT systems that manage the respective master data of energy generation plants individually. Furthermore, the German energy industry lacks a single point of truth for trustworthy plant master data – while at the same time millions of private energy producers will have to be integrated into the grid in the near future.
With the support of the technology company 51nodes, several potential use cases for SSI have now been identified in TransnetBW’s network management processes.
51nodes is, among others, a member of the SSI-based identity management network IDunion, which is driven by over 47 well-known German companies and organizations. Furthermore, 51nodes has extensive experience in implementing SSI and blockchain-based solutions with clear added value.
Further information on SSI
– Self-Sovereign Identity: The Ultimate Beginners Guide
– Self-Sovereign Identity: Basic Knowledge, Applications and Potential of Portable Digital Identities (Fraunhofer FIT white paper)
– Opportunities of self-sovereign identities from the point of view of companies offering Identity & Access Management
– An overview of the SSI ecosystem (scientific article)
– A technical implementation platform for SSI in the energy industry: Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (technical concept documentation)