Ten energy companies - Royal Dutch Shell plc, Centrica plc, Elia, Engie, Sempra Energy, SP Group, Statoil ASA, Stedin, TWL (Technical Works Ludwigshafen AG), and Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) have joined forces to support the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), a Switzerland based non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate the commercial deployment of blockchain technology in the energy sector.
What is Energy Web Foundation (EWF)?
Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is a partnership between Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity. Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), is an independent, U.S.-based nonprofit organization focused on driving the efficient and restorative use of resources. Grid Singularity is an internet-based decentralised energy data management and exchange platform built on the most advanced blockchain technology. It has been created by a team of experienced energy market professionals, in partnership with leading blockchain technology developers at Ethcore, who are principal founders of the open source not-for-profit organisation Ethereum.
EWF announced closer of its first funding round where they raised fund of $2.5 millions and also introduced their first ten affiliates through a press release on May 8, 2017.
Blockchain technology in Energy
One of the unique feature of blockchain technology is to reduce transactional costs by keeping a single logical copy of transaction records—avoiding the need for reconciliation and settlement. This attribute enables blockchain to be potential game-changer in the energy sector. It can be used to reduce the cost of utility bills or the need for working capital in wholesale market gas or electricity transactions. On the game-changing side, blockchain technology can allow millions of energy devices (HVAC systems, water heaters, electric vehicles, batteries, solar PV installations) to transact with each other at the distribution edge while providing support to utilities and grid operators to integrate more utility-scale variable renewable energy capacity at much lower cost.
Grid Singularity, together with its partner Parity Technologies, is leading the development of an open-source, energy-specific blockchain infrastructure that will be maintained by EWF and supporting affiliates. Grid Singularity is planned to bring the most advanced blockchain technology, addressing the limitations in terms of speed and transaction costs of the currently available blockchains, and enabling features that are focused on supporting energy-specific applications.
“The current test-network ‘Kovan,’ which is a proof-of-concept for the new consensus algorithm, has the ability to perform up to 1,000 transactions per second (tps) and is already used by many blockchain start-ups. By embedding further state channel technology, we intend for our architecture to facilitate scaling to 1 million tps over the next several years,” Ewald Hesse, chief executive of Grid Singularity and vice-president of EWF, said. “With the ‘Polkadot’ design conceived by Parity Technologies, we are also introducing the concept of interoperability among multiple blockchain architectures, which should free users from technology lock-in.”
Along with the development of an open-source IT infrastructure, EWF also will work on analyzing use cases and organizing task forces to push the most promising use cases into proof of concepts and commercial applications, while incubating an ecosystem of application developers, and cooperating with regulators and standardization bodies to facilitate deployment. EWF is actively soliciting collaboration with other technology providers eager to support the open-source approach of eliminating energy market entry barriers.
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