The Next Stage of Green Electricity Labeling: Using Zero-Knowledge Proofs for Blockchain-based Certificates of Origin and Use

Johannes Sedlmeir (University of Bayreuth, Germany); Fabiane Völter (Fraunhofer FIT, Germany); Jens Strüker (University of Bayreuth, Germany)


The labeling of electricity is considered an important mechanism to differentiate renewable power generation and, thus, to incentivize the expansion of green energy. However, today’s systems for documenting and trading green energy certificates suffer from multiple challenges. These could be addressed by a digital solution that holistically collects and processes production and consumption data. Blockchain-based architectures have repeatedly been suggested for this purpose since they can provide transparency and can likely be accepted by a broad group of
stakeholders. Yet, there are significant scalability and privacy issues of a blockchain-based approach for storing and processing fine-grained production and consumption data. In this paper, we propose and discuss a potential solution that levers succinct cryptographic zero-knowledge proofs to balance the required level of transparency and privacy while at the same time providing a high degree of scalability.