The energy sector might not be at the forefront of every conversation about digitalisation, but an increasing number of companies are exploring ways to decentralise the transfer of energy using Blockchain technology. A number of use cases have been explored, and projects are cropping up in e-mobility, the production and sale of electricity, and support for community energy models.
Blockchain potential in payment, supply chain, and logistics
In a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) a number of applications for Blockchain in energy were named. One of the areas with big potential is without surprise the implementation of cryptocurrencies for creating a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform allowing the electricity provider to receive payment without the need of a third-party, contributing to the smooth operation of entire power grids /1/. Further applications would be in optimising supply chain and logistics for tracking assets, digitalising shipment receipts, transferring titles, etc. Blockchain has recognised potential for supply chain and logistics processes across various industries.
Renewable energy made more affordable with Blockchain
The growth of renewable energy also holds expanding potential for Blockchain. Renewable energy must be certified using data that is indistinguishable from that of fossil fuels and is passed through multiple channels to accomplish this. One certificates are created and bought, they must then be verified by an additional party /2/. When hardware is linked to a Blockchain, the data could be written and verified directly.
A number of projects are working on decentralizing the delivery of electricity, including Grid+, a start-up using Blockchain to set up a platform for customers to access wholesale electricity markets, decreasing costs for customers substantially and increasing efficiency /3/. Using a hardware device interaction with third parties is in large part automated so that the cost is low and customers can monetize surplus from solar panels or generators /4/.