Virtual power plants: Metaverse for the power sector

By Somesh Kumar

The Metaverse holds immense potential for an asset-heavy sector like power and utilities that relies on huge assets spread across states and in some cases, countries. The key enablers of the Metaverse are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, 3D reconstruction, blockchain and cryptography, and, not in the too distant future, extended reality (XR).

As surprising as it may sound, the power sector is not new to most of these emerging technologies. Utilities and ‘people-led initiatives/communities’, in some cases, are moving towards microgrids that leverage blockchain-enabled smart contract management that can help in transparent and efficient energy accounting at all levels and facilitate peer-to-peer trading between prosumers of electricity. Maintenance and monitoring of far-flung generation assets is a cumbersome task, especially in the wake of Covid-19, due to their geographical spread. VR/AR/MR technologies are tackling this problem head-on by enabling virtual site visits, field staff training, remote assistance to the field workforce, and maintenance in the most…


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