Energy giants Shell, TEPCO, and BP, are working with a handful of companies in developing Blockchain based solutions that will soon disrupt the energy ecosystem.
Blockchain Fever in the Energy Sector
Barely a day after Royal Dutch Shell said it had invested in Applied Blockchain with its subsidiary, Shell Trading International, Japanese energy giants, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has also chosen to invest in the UK-based Blockchain technology solutions developer for the energy sector, Electron.
The PR representative of TEPCO, Maki Muryama is of the opinion that the Blockchain-powered peer-to-peer energy transaction marketplace may become ubiquitous soon due to a growing demand for renewable energy and a push for “local production for local consumption.”
The significant advantage a peer-to-peer network has over the current system is that it enables the sharing of excess energy between ecosystem participants and devices. Muryama has said that he is quite optimistic this new system will give users a lot of options and convenience:
“We believe that Blockchain can be the basic technology making such a thing possible. We estimate that the availability of P2P electricity [will] expand customers’ options for the electricity services and will improve its conveniences.”
In September 2017, Electron received substantial funding from the UK government, to prove how Blockchain can be useful in balancing the electricity grid. The firm has been at the frontline of developing Blockchain solutions since 2015, and it received an award from the World Economic Forum in 2017, for its innovative works. Therefore, there’s no doubt Electron will deliver excellent Blockchain energy solutions for TEPCO, with this newly formed alliance.
As a firm established immediately after world war two and faced with part of the responsibilities of rebuilding Japan, TEPCO has always embraced new technologies. The company had previously invested in Conjoule GmbH, a peer-to-peer energy platform.
TEPCO has also worked with members of the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) in promoting the Commercial acceleration of Blockchain technology.
Shell is also a member of the EWF and has previously worked with BP in developing a Blockchain-based platform meant to host digital commodities. However, this will be the first time Shell will be investing in Applied Blockchain via startup groups.
The Chief Technology Officer for IT at Shell Global Solutions International Johan Krebbers, has said Blockchain technology is a game changer. He iterated that:
“Blockchain applications have huge potential to shake up how we do things in the energy industry from streamlining process to simplifying how we work with our suppliers and serve our customers. Investing in applied Blockchain is part of our commitment to using digitization to create value in our core businesses and develop new business models.”
Although it may take a couple of months or even years for these life-changing projects to become fully functional, the most important thing is that the journey has begun and the world will soon have cleaner, safer and cheaper energy solutions via Blockchain technology.