3 Months Ago

Repsol, the Spanish energy company, has recently invested in FinBoot, which is a business with offices in London and Barcelona.

FinBoot has been developing a Blockchain-powered platform to improve the efficiency of tracking the multitude of samples that energy companies need to continuously create. Repsol typically has over 60,000 samples it has to create, as refining and transporting petrochemicals requires products to be sampled and checked in order to meet Repsol’s clients’ requirements. “Currently, there is a lot of rework involved in these types of processes where we handle a large number of samples due to labelling errors, information losses, or incorrect connections between information” explains Tomas Malango, at Repsol, adding “it allows us to identify the samples correctly throughout their whole life cycle.” The existing system is largely manual and paper-based, and therefore subject to human error and mislabelling so is time-consuming, as paper records often go missing.
Repsol believes that it could save up to €400,000 p.a. using this new Blockchain platform and FinBoot is now looking at how similar technology could be used to help other industries, such as the fashion sector where it needs to trace the provenance of the materials used in making clothes.
Meanwhile, the co-founder of Apple, Jo Wozniak, has invested in a firm that uses Blockchain technology called ENFORCE project. Wozniak reportedly said “ENFORCE aims to bring money savings on energy, but it also helps the environment”, a factor he said was important to him. He further added, “Blockchain will bring improvements to energy use and reduce consumption without consumers needing to change their habits”.
Where Blockchain technology is being used in the energy sector.

Source: https://www.indigoadvisorygroup.com/blockchain
 
Indigo Advisory Group, in the chart above, keeps record of various ways globally that Blockchain technology is being used for different purposes, which is updated as it discovers new initiatives. 
Blockchain technology is increasingly been used in the energy sector as it potentially provides solutions across the energy trilemma: 1) it reduces costs by optimising energy processes, 2) it improves energy security in terms of cybersecurity, but also acts as a supporting technology that could improve security of supply, and 3) it promotes more renewable energy generation and low-carbon solutions.
In a survey of 140 Blockchain research projects, Science Direct has identified many ways that Blockchain technology could help the energy sector:

 Billing: Blockchains, smart contracts and smart-metering can offer automated billing for consumers and generators. Utility companies could benefit from energy micro-payments, pay-as-you-go solutions or payment platforms for pre-paid meters.

Sales and marketing: Sales practices could change according to consumers' energy profile, individual preferences and environmental concerns. Blockchains, in combination with artificial (AI) techniques, could identify consumer energy patterns and therefore enable tailored and value-added energy products provision.

Trading and markets: Blockchain-enabled distributed trading platforms could disrupt market operations, such as wholesale market management, commodity trading transactions and risk management. Blockchain systems are currently being developed also for green certificates trading.

Automation: Blockchains could improve control of decentralised energy systems and microgrids. Adoption of local energy marketplaces, enabled by localised P2P energy trading or distributed platforms, could significantly increase energy self-production and self-consumption, also known as behind the meter activities, which could potentially affect revenues...


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Blockchain
Energy
The business of providing energy is rapidly evolving as the sector has to adjust to legislation to reduce carbon by decentralising, and we are seeing a rise of micro-generation suppliers entering the market.

Increasingly, we are seeing new business models being developed to hold, manage, and process data by implementing technologies such as Machine Learning, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence. With ever more data and the roll-out of smart meters, the “Internet of Energy” is slowly becoming a reality, increasing the need for data management even further.
In 2017, Cryptocurrencies fuelled interest in Blockchain technology, with many start-ups and pilot projects being funded by Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which seemed to be being launched on an almost daily basis! In the energy sector alone, there were over 150 projects using Blockchain, according to SolarPlaza, which it highlighted in a ‘Comprehensive Guide of Companies involved in Blockchain & Energy’. 
If you look at Google Trends to see the interest in terms of searches since December 2017, “Blockchain Energy” has fallen from 100 to 26,  so clearly, the hype has gone. However, we are still seeing a number of projects in the energy sector being developed in different parts of the world.
In France, Grenoble Ecole de Management conducted a survey to ask 112 experts from industry, science, and public administration in France about the role of Blockchain technology in the French energy sector. It wanted to understand how these experts thought Blockchain would be used in the next five years. Peer-to-peer energy trading and electric vehicle charging and sharing were the most popular choices.
Digisol, based in France, is a project designed with an objective to enable the sharing of solar energy between two apartments within the same building.
Meanwhile, in Japan, an Australian company has been using Blockchain technology to enable solar initiatives and working to expand the renewable energy market in Japan. Perth-based Power Ledger has announced a partnership with Japan’s Sharing Energy Company. Power Ledger is providing a Blockchain-based tokenised energy trading platform while Sharing Energy is a provider of solar installations and equipment.
According to Solar Market Insight, the USA installed 2.7 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity in the first quarter of 2019. This brings the total amount of solar power installed capacity to 67 GW, which is enough to power 12.7 million homes. Furthermore, it is estimated that PV installations will double in the next five years, which will assist in reducing the impact of power generation on climate change. However, it presents some real challenges for power management and the electricity grid in the USA. In California, for example, solar farms have previously had to shut down on sunny days because the grid in the state was unable to handle the amount of solar energy being generated.
In 2012, Germany experienced industrial companies sustaining damages due to the instability of its electricity grid due to unprecedented solar and wind fluctuations. In Australia, there were major state-wide blackouts in 2016 for the same reasons.
This week a company called LO3 successfully gained funding from Royal Dutch Shell and Japanese giant Sumitomo Corporation Group. LO3 is looking at using Blockchain technology to track energy supplies, allowing users to select which supplier they wish to select so making peer-to-peer...


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Blockchain
Emerging Tech
Energy

4 Months Ago

Despite the economic sanctions that Iran faces, the lights burn brightly in Mosques across Iran as their electricity is provided for free by the Iranian government.

This has led to a surge of interest in Bitcoin mining which is being seen as a way around the sanctions and enable Iranians to earn some much-needed foreign exchange. Unfortunately, according to an article in Forbes, Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, a spokesman for the Energy Ministry, has been quoted by Iranian news agencies as saying that electricity consumption increased by 7% in the past month alone and he was clear where the blame lay: “A bulk of that unusual increase is because of the activity of bitcoin miners,” he said, adding that their activities are “making the grid unstable and causing problems for other users.”

Due to cheap state-subsidised electricity, it has been reported that Bitcoin miners have been moving to Iran from China, Spain, France, Ukraine, and Armenia.

According to Oxford University researcher Mahsa Alimardani: “Mosques receive free energy in Iran. Iranians have set up Bitcoin miners in them. There’s around 100 here, producing around $260,000 USD a year. This money goes a long way in Iran’s choked sanctioned economy,” 

This type of news will not please those countries who have imposed sanctions on Iran, and if the proceeds of these Mosque based Bitcoin profit are not used correctly, no doubt some religious leaders inside Iran will raise questions. However, it does serve to illustrate how complex and difficult it is to totally control and police digital businesses!

 

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Bitcoin Mining

Julian Gray, Technology Director in the Digital Innovation Organisation department in BP, told a packed room at the Blockchain Expo conference in Amsterdam this week that BP is looking to be a “Digital Energy Company”. Julian said that BP think of Blockchain in just five words-

“Trusting People Over The Internet”



He spoke about a number of projects BP are involved in, that use Blockchain technology.

Continuing with the theme of “Collaborative capitalism”(i.e like LVMH for luxury goods and Maersk’s Tradlens for the shipping industry), BP has invested and helped develop a Blockchain-powered, commodity trading platform, called Vakt. The Vakt platform, according to Business Insider, addresses two fundamental challenges:

1. It “slashes” the paperwork when trading commodities, so saving costs and making the process much more efficient.

2. As data and information are more accessible and transparent, commodity traders find it harder to have access to unique proprietary information, so trading profit margins are smaller. Therefore, traders are searching for more efficient ways to gather data and trade.

The Vakt platform has been trialled in the North Sea by a syndication of producers, who are responsible for over 80% of North Sea’s Brent crude oil production. It has been such a success, generating efficiency savings of 30% to 40% using Blockchain technology, that BP is now looking to deploy the Vakt platform to other regions around the world.

Gray also stated at the conference that BP has also established a company called Strala, which enables the energy created in one location to be transferred to somewhere else. Using the new Apple App, if you (as the customer/user) had solar panels in the country, it is now possible to have the energy that you use in your flat in a city, paid for from the energy your solar panels are generating. Could this encourage large power users, such as big office blocks, to invest in wind and solar farms and help the UK meet its recently announced target to be carbon-free by 2050? However, imagine the potential impact if someone in central Paris, or Edinburgh, or Berlin could buy electricity direct from a wind power or solar farmer in a remote desert location in Africa! We are not far from this being a reality, and using a Digital Currency as a form of payment with Smart Contracts on a Blockchain-powered platform like Strala would minimise the paperwork, human errors, reconciliation, and intervention - all in a very transparent manner!

A third way BP uses Blockchain technology is that it is working on a project that will measure the hydrocarbon emissions from the well-head of a gas field to the end user. Julian Gray explained that, in the USA, there is increasing pressure from users to be able to prove their carbon footprint. Historically, gas production and distribution networks had not been that efficient. Therefore, if BP proves that it is able to provide zero-leaking gas supplies, it can charge more for the gas, but the customer will be sure that the supply network has no leakage i.e. the gas they are buying is more environmentally-friendly.  

As big organisations start to use Blockchain technology more and more, different use-cases are being found. The world’s petroleum and car companies are desperate to reinvent themselves, so are investing heavily to find ways to be more ecologically and environmentally friendly!

 

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Blockchain
Energy

7 Months Ago

Ovo energy Ltd has just invested in Electron, a company that uses Blockchain technology in its distributed gas and electricity platform as the UK moves to a more intelligent power grid.

There is no centralised register of all the electricity and gas meters in the UK. Because of this, it can take two to three weeks for a customer to switch their utility services from one utility to another. Electron aims to reduce this time from days to “mere minutes”.

There is increasing demand from households to use electricity from renewable energy sources and corporates too, as they try to reduce their carbon footprint. Therefore, there is a need to be able to track the provenance of the power supply and generation, which is an ideal use for Blockchain technology, offering transparency and traceability.

According to recent research from Infoholic Research LLP, the use of Blockchain globally in the energy market is expected to expand significantly. The market was calculated to be $210million in 2018, and is expected to grow to be worth  $3.4billion by 2024.

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Energy
https://www.rttnews.com/2986080/uk-s-ovo-energy...?refresh=1
Ovo energy Ltd has just invested in Electron, a company that uses Blockchain technology in its distributed gas and electricity platform as the UK moves to a more intelligent power grid.

There is no centralised register of all the electricity and gas meters in the UK. Because of this, it can take two to three weeks for a customer to switch their utility services from one utility to another. Electron aims to reduce this time from days to “mere minutes”.

There is increasing demand from households to use electricity from renewable energy sources and corporates too, as they try to reduce their carbon footprint. Therefore, there is a need to be able to track the provenance of the power supply and generation, which is an ideal use for Blockchain technology, offering transparency and traceability.
According to recent research from Infoholic Research LLP, the use of Blockchain globally in the energy market is expected to expand significantly. The market was calculated to be $210million in 2018, and is expected to grow to be worth  $3.4billion by 2024.

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Energy
https://www.rttnews.com/2986080/uk-s-ovo-energy...?refresh=1
Blockchain technology, is increasingly finding applications in the energy sector predominantly in wholesale energy trading.

However, the technology is being used for various other applications with the help of Smart Contracts to offer digital identification, encouraging power suppliers to actively invest in more research and innovation for developing Blockchain solutions.

The energy sector has certain limitations, including high administration and transmission costs mainly due to the centralized functioning of the sector. As Blockchain addresses these issues and decreases the scope for single-point failures while increasing transparency across the supplychain the technology is expected to bring a noteworthy digital transformation for the sector.

With the UK’s power distribution networks looking to potentially have to
spend £24 Billion between 2015 and 2013, any way that can make the UK power suppliers more efficient will be welcome.
The Smart Power project from Imperial College has identified £8Billion worth of savings p.a. using technology like smart meters and variable power supplies which Blockchain technology could significantly help.
In Spain power utility firm Iberdrola has completed a project that uses Blockchain technology to ensure customers can be certain they are using renewable electricity, so reducing their carbon footprint.

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https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/929...market?w=5

8 Months Ago

Gridplus is going to enable people who live in Texas to be able to pay for their electricity in Crypto currencies which in itself it nothing remarkable.

What is interesting is that they are going to allow customers to benefit from buying electricity when it is cheap and provided you have the right tech you could turn off devices such are swimming pool pumps or air conditioning units when demand spikes and electricity prices are high. Customers will be able to pay in real time presumably using Smart Contracts.

Gridplus is a project backed by  ConsenSys, which was founded by Joseph Lubin who was one of the key figures behind Ethereum, so no doubt if this proves successful look out for more projects like this in the energy sector elsewhere!

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Cryptocurrency
Energy
https://blog.gridplus.io/gridplus-is-live-in-te...0c1c60e569

9 Months Ago