Blockchain infrastructure for a smarter energy sector. A primer on liability

Cappelli, V.*, Cuccuru, P.*

The paper “Blockchain infrastructure for a smarter energy sector. A primer on liability” (Cappelli, V.*, Cuccuru, P.*) will be presented at the 8th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures (20-21 June, 2019).

ABSTRACT

Smart grids are essential for a more sustainable and reliable energy supply system. They facilitate the integration of decentralised electricity generation and encourage prosumers production. Blockchain technology can support and streamline this process. The application of blockchain to smart grids can help coordinate distributed energy production and promises to enable peer-to-peer transactions through smart contracts.

The intersection of smart grids and blockchain ledgers recalibrates the relationships within energy supply systems in favour of a decentralised energy sharing network. Within this context, whether there is – or should be – a middleman responsible for energy supply is a core issue to investigate. While intermediaries challenge the technological – and philosophical – assumptions of blockchain systems, they also enormously ease the allocation of liability in case of dysfunctions. The main question this paper aims to address is where responsibility and liability stand in a complex system that combines the traditional energy infrastructure with an automated digital grid based on blockchain technology.  Different models of blockchain, and the impact they have on liability, are considered. The article concludes that energy supply system needs intermediation Eventually, it explores the concept of “distributed liability” as a means for managing risks in highly decentralised systems.

Presentation is available here.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Viola Cappelli is a Ph.D. Candidate in Law at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa. She graduated summa cum laude in Law at the University of Pisa in June 2018, with a thesis on energy performance contracts and during her undergraduate career she was honors student at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa.
In 2016 she was a visitig student at École Normale Supérieure of Paris, working on contractual justice and the reform of French civil code.
Her research interests range from consumer protection law and contract law in general, to the interaction between private law and administrative law in the market.
Her Ph.D. project is about energy, sustainable development and energy efficiency, from a private law point of view and in the light of technological evolution.

 

Pierluigi Cuccuru graduated in Law summa cum laude at the University of Pisa (2014) and was admitted to the Ph.D. in Law at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa. He trained as a research assistant at the University of Leicester (2015) and was visiting researcher at the Brussels School of International Studies (2017) and the University of Amsterdam (2018). His interests include regulation through technical standards, EU internal market law, and contract automation through blockchain. He is associate in De Matteis Law in Rome, where he practices in EU digital payments, open banking, and digital identity.

 

 

*  presenting author


More on Energy & Climate

Takeaways from recent energy Case Law from the CJEU
Takeaways from recent energy Case Law from the CJEU

On Friday, 3 June 2022, the FSR hosted the most recent edition of its popular biannual update on recent energy…

Ukraine's challenges and prospects of joining the internal energy market
Ukraine's challenges and prospects of joining the internal energy market

On Wednesday, 1 June 2022, the #FSRDebate “What is missing for Ukraine to join the Internal Energy Market?”  gathered Ukrainian…

How mitigating methane emissions can help the EU to reach energy independence
How mitigating methane emissions can help the EU to reach energy independence

Europe is facing the worst energy crisis since the 1970s. The spiking energy prices and worries about reliable supply fueled…

Join our community

To meet, discuss and learn in the channel that suits you best.

scroll

top