The dawn of blockchain for the energy industry is an inch closer after the flag-off of the first of its kind open-source and enterprise-grade blockchain for the energy industry.
In an announcement made by the Swiss-based Energy Web Foundation (EWF) in June 2019, who made it known that its blockchain network called the EW Chain is online hosting validator nodes from ten organizations including the likes of E.ON, Centrica, and Duke Energy in its network.
The early validators comprise German startup OLI Technology, French company Engie, Spain FlrxiDAO, the electricity transmission system operator Elia from Belgium, and the Singapore Power Group- a distribution company. As pointed out by the EWF’s Jesse Morris the organization’s chief commercial officer, the take-off of the EW Chain signified extraordinary open-source cooperation among industries in the energy sector.
The project has seen organizations from various markets from all over the world played their part in hosting an IT solution, which is public, decentralized, and open source. This collaboration to create a blockchain for the energy industry has positioned the energy sector as a leading player in blockchain development. As Jesse Morris pointed, when compared to the other sectors, it is hard to find organizations taking part in public networks at this kind level.
The EW Chain: The Blockchain for Energy Sector
The EWF is planning a migration of 17 dApps to the EW Chain from the test networks. This includes a focus of the decentralized apps on three primary issues in the energy transition.
Morris pointed out that Singapore Power Group, Thai national oil company PTT, and Engie are focused on decentralized Applications that can track guarantees of origin certificates. This dApp can be used in regulated European markets by companies like Engie to present the origin of electricity consumed to customers.
In emerging markets where there are no regulated standards such as Singapore and Thailand. It is now possible to provide a decentralized option, which can be used as the regulated standard in the markets. This will not only serve traceability of electricity alone but can also be used for carbon.
Another focus area is demand response. The dApps will be developed with the aim of small-scale distributed energy resources integration with the grid. There will be a focus on decongesting the distribution chain as well as reducing the ancillary service market cost. The idea of running them a blockchain built for the energy sector like the EW Chain will help bring down transaction costs and improve demand response programs.
The last area of focus is targeted at charging vehicles, for this area, companies like Wirelane and Share&Charge are working on plans to operate smart charging utilizing the EW Chain.
Blockchain for Energy Sector Shows Promises
Following two years of work, the take-off of the EW Chain will target overcoming some of the power consumption, cost and scalability issues present in the conventional blockchains that largely built on the Ethereum blockchain when utilized for applications related to the energy industry. The next step will be to move to a new business strategy. Such a strategy will have a foundation with dApp, ecosystem membership, consultancy, certification, and chain development.