Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title



This article presents an umbrella review of blockchain-based smart grid applications. By umbrella review, we mean that our review is based on systematic reviews of this topic. We aim to synthesize the findings from these systematic reviews and gain deeper insights into this discipline. After studying the systematic reviews, we find it imperative to provide a concise and authoritative description of blockchain technology because many technical inaccuracies permeate many of these papers. This umbrella review is guided by five research questions. The first research question concerns the types of blockchain-based smart grid applications. Existing systematic reviews rarely used a systematic method to classify these applications. To address this issue, we propose a taxonomy of these applications, first by differentiating them based on whether the application is focusing on functional or non-functional aspects of smart grid operations, and then by the specific functions or perspectives that the application aims to implement or enhance. The second research question concerns the roles that blockchain technology plays in smart grid applications. We synthesize the findings by identifying the most prominent benefits that blockchain technology could bring to these applications. We also take the opportunity to point out several common technical mistakes that pervade the blockchain literature, such as equating all forms of blockchains to data immutability. The third research question concerns the guidelines for deciding whether a blockchain-based solution would be useful to address the needs of smart grids. We synthesize the findings by proposing benefit- based guidelines. The fourth research question concerns the maturity levels of blockchain-based smart grid applications. We differentiate between academic-led and industry-led projects. We propose a five-level scale to evaluate the maturity levels. The ranking of the industry-led projects is performed through our own investigation. Our investigation shows that more than half of the industry-led projects mentioned in the systematic reviews are no longer active. Furthermore, although there are numerous news reports and a large number of academic papers published on blockchain-based smart grid applications, very few have been successfully embraced by the industry. The fifth research question concerns the open research issues in the development of blockchain-based smart grid applications. We synthesize the findings and provide our own analysis.


This work was supported in part by the United States National Science Foundation, grant no. 2215388, in part by Beijing Natural Science Foundation under Grant M 21032.




Publisher's PDF

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.