Speaking at the recent SAP in oil and gas conference Jens Strüker of the Institut für Energiewirtschaft described blockchain as having the potential for disruption, ‘as the energy broker becomes obsolete.’ Blockchain could rationalize the ‘enormous complexity’ of the electricity grid. In oil and gas blockchain will streamline the supply chain providing proof of origin of documents and data and help manage small-scale cogeneration units. A poster child for the technology is StromDAO a German ‘autonomous, distributed electricity provider’ that user the Ethereum blockchain to transact ‘GrünStromJetons,’ renewable energy certificates. On the downside, blockchain is slow and uses an unconscionable amount of … electricity!
Earlier this year STOA, the EU’s Parliamentary Research Service published a report titled, ‘How blockchain technology could change our lives.’ The 22-page report covers, inter alia, currencies, digital rights management, protecting patents and ‘at last’ supply chain transparency and accountability. The ‘permissioned’ blockchain that limits access to a group of approved actors will likely be of interest to the corporate world.
Another blockchain development was the recent creation of the ‘Energy web foundation’ by Stanford, Engie, the World Energy Council and the Rocky Mountain Institute amongst others. EWF is to identify and assess blockchain use cases in the electricity sector, to build a software infrastructure, and train an eco-system of users and developers.
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