Decentralized energy networks

Institute for the Future is dedicated to advancing the frontiers of distributed and decentralized energy networks. At the heart of our research is a commitment to exploring and developing innovative solutions that intertwine the potential of blockchain technology, smart contracts, peer-to-peer energy trading, smart grid technologies, local energy markets and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Decentralized Energy Networks (DENs) represent a transformation in energy distribution from centralized production to distributed systems. In DENs, energy generation, storage, and management occur closer to consumption points.

Traditional energy systems, based on large-scale generation and extensive transmission networks, are increasingly seen as inefficient. The shift towards decentralized networks is driven by technological advancements and sustainability goals. Currently, there is a move beyond traditional “top-down” grid management by creating a unique local flexibility market platform, integrating IoT and blockchain technologies for automated flexibility exchange.

DENs address modern energy challenges like climate change and energy security. IFF’S approach, utilizing smart contracts and blockchain for local energy transactions, aligns perfectly with these challenges, offering cost-reflective and rewards through price signals based on real-time grid constraints and available DER flexibility.

Research focus

IFF is focused on the following research areas:

  1. Blockchain & Smart Contracts in Decentralized Energy Networks
  2. Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading
  3. Smart Grid Technologies
  4. Local Energy and Flexibility Markets
  5. Electric Vehicles and the Internet of Vehicles (IoV)
  6. Energy Demand and Response Management

Blockchain & Smart Contracts in Decentralized Energy Networks

At IFF, our research in blockchain and smart contracts within decentralized energy networks focuses on harnessing blockchain’s immutable and transparent nature to revolutionize energy transactions. We explore how smart contracts can automate and enforce energy trading agreements, ensuring accuracy and reliability. Our projects examine the integration of blockchain to enable real-time, tamper-proof recording of energy flows, fostering trust and efficiency in decentralized networks.

Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading

IFF focuses also on peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading research, facilitated by blockchain technology. We study how blockchain can enable direct energy exchanges between producers and consumers, bypassing traditional intermediaries. This research includes developing models for dynamic pricing, secure transaction protocols, and regulatory compliance, making P2P energy trading a viable and scalable option.

Smart Grid Technologies

While smart grid technologies constantly advance, IFF investigates the integration of blockchain to enhance grid management and operation. Our research focuses on decentralized applications (DApps) that operate on blockchain platforms for improved grid stability, data integrity, and operational efficiency. We also explore how blockchain can facilitate better demand-response coordination and grid stability in smart grid environments.

Local Energy and Flexibility Markets

Our work on local energy and flexibility markets involves investigating blockchain-based platforms that enable localized energy trading and flexibility services. We explore how these platforms can incentivize renewable energy generation and consumption within communities, providing tools for dynamic pricing and automated settlement of energy transactions.

Electric Vehicles and the Internet of Vehicles (IoV)

The Institute for the Future (IFF) is focusing on the integration of blockchain technology in decentralized energy networks, particularly in the field of electric vehicles (EVs) and the Internet of Vehicles (IoV). Our research aims to reshape how EVs interact with the grid, focusing on energy exchange, security, and efficiency. We also investigate blockchain-based token systems to incentivize user participation in EV energy management, contributing to grid stability and renewable energy adoption. Our research also includes optimization of EV-to-grid interactions using blockchain and smart contracts to automate these interactions, ensuring efficient energy storage and grid balancing. IFF is committed to leveraging these technologies to create a more sustainable, efficient, and user-engaging future for energy systems, with EVs playing a central role.

Energy Demand and Response Management

At IFF, we are committed to improving demand and response management in decentralized energy networks. Our research involves using blockchain to create transparent, efficient, and automated demand-response systems. By studying consumer behavior and energy usage patterns, we aim to investigate and develop models that respond dynamically to changes in energy supply and demand, ensuring grid stability and energy efficiency.

Relevant Research Projects


IFF has successfully participated in PARITY Horizon 2020 project focusing and contributing on the development of a smart contract enabled, blockchain based local flexibility market platform, which facilitate both peer- to-peer energy/flexibility transactions as well as the sell/purchase of flexibility to Smart Grid actors.



A plethora of publications have been published in academic journals and conference proceedings under this research area from various IFF members:

1. Kapassa, E, & Themistocleous, M 2022, ‘Blockchain technology applied in IoV demand response management: A systematic literature review’, Future Internet,,

2. Strepparava, D, Nespoli, L, Kapassa, E, Touloupou, M, & … 2022, ‘Deployment and analysis of a blockchain-based local energy market’, Energy Reports, Elsevier,

3. Borges, CE, Kapassa, E, Touloupou, M, & … 2022, ‘Blockchain application in P2P energy markets: Social and legal aspects’, Connection …, Taylor & Francis,

4. Kapassa, E, Touloupou, M, & … 2022, ‘A Blockchain based approach for demand response management in internet of vehicles’, 2022 7th International …,,

5. Kapassa, E, & Touloupou, M 2022, ‘Local Energy Markets: A Market Transformation Survey Towards Segments of Interest’, … and Middle Eastern Conference on Information …, Springer,

6. Kapassa, E, Themistocleous, M, Christodoulou, K, & Iosif, E 2021, ‘Blockchain application in internet of vehicles: Challenges, contributions and current limitations’, Future Internet,,

7. Pressmair, G, Kapassa, E, Casado-Mansilla, D, & … 2021, ‘Overcoming barriers for the adoption of Local Energy and Flexibility Markets: A user-centric and hybrid model’, Journal of Cleaner …, Elsevier,

8. Kapassa, E, Touloupou, M, & … 2021, ‘Local electricity and flexibility markets: Swot analysis and recommendations’, 2021 6th International …,,

9. Kapassa, E, Themistocleous, M, Quintanilla, JR, & … 2020, ‘Blockchain in smart energy grids: a market analysis’, … Systems: 17th European …, Springer,

10. Zabaleta, K, Casado-Mansilla, D, & … 2020, ‘Barriers to widespread the adoption of electric flexibility markets: A triangulation approach’, … on Smart and …,,

11. Kapassa, E, Touloupos, M, Kyriazis, D, & … 2020, ‘A smart distributed marketplace’, … Systems: 16th European …, Springer,

12. Themistocleous, Marinos, et al. “To chain or not to chain? A case from energy sector.” Information Systems: 15th European, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern Conference, EMCIS 2018, Limassol, Cyprus, October 4-5, 2018, Proceedings 15. Springer International Publishing, 2019.

13. Themistocleous, Marinos, Kypros Stefanou, and Elias Iosif. “Blockchain in solar energy.” Cyprus review 30.2 (2018): 203-212.