World Energy Insights Brief | Blockchain: Anthology of Interviews

The Council in partnership with PwC interviewed 39 companies/organisations to understand the maturity of blockchain technology in energy and also to understand its potential and its impediments.  We interviewed companies pushing new business models, traditional oil and gas companies, regulators and utilities to find out what is going on with all the blockchain hype.  We found the following:
  1. Technological feasibility and scalability are hurdles to be sure, but the market, or rather those interviewed for this study, are confident that with time, testing and refining of the technology these will be crossed. Energy Web Foundation has assembled an ecosystem of more than 80 energy companies’ affiliates and start-ups interested in blockchain applications in the energy sector. EWF builds open-source, foundational blockchain tools and technology for use in the energy sector.  The EWF collaboration is working to speed up the number of transactions that a blockchain platform can handle as well as the cost effectiveness of the transactions. Additionally, EWF has implemented a proof of authority consensus mechanism that requires the known companies to validate transactions, increasing the potential for regulatory integration
  2. Blockchain in energy is in its infancy.  85% of those interviewed who had use cases said that they were in early stages and their pilots not mature yet
  3. There are alternatives out there; one in particular that we have featured in our work is the alternative from Faraday Grid
  4. Like many new initiatives in the energy world the success of blockchain is very much dependent on a reframing of regulation and large scale customer engagement, but that doesn’t mean blockchain cannot bring immediate optimisation for the existing system.  The transformative nature of blockchain which is P2P is dependent on regulation and customer engagement.
“Blockchain in energy has the potential to upend the energy system that was created over a century ago, but it has a long way to go.  In the meantime it is certainly pushing the envelop and forcing market players to innovate and create new business models to bring a cleaner, reliable and equitable energy system for everyone” Marzia Zafar

We invite you to review this work and give us your feedback.  We will organise a regulatory roundtable in Brussels to continue the dialogue and understand if there are new ways to think about regulation.  If you have any comment or questions, please send your inquiry to Marzia Zafar.

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