First Public Blockchain in Energy Launched

Switzerland-based Energy Web Foundation (EWF) said its blockchain, EW Chain, was up and running with validator nodes hosted by 10 companies within its affiliate ecosystem, which includes utilities such as Centrica, Duke Energy and E.ON.

The initial validators include the French power giant Engie, the Belgian electricity transmission system operator Elia, the distribution company Singapore Power Group, German startup OLI Technology and FlexiDAO of Spain, which works with green energy certificates.

Jesse Morris, EWF’s chief commercial officer:

“We now have corporates from different markets across the world, that are not part of some standard-setting effort, hosting a part of an IT solution that is fully open source, decentralized, requires collaboration, and is public.”

EWF is also preparing to migrate 17 decentralized applications, or dApps, from test networks onto the EW Chain in the coming weeks. The dApps will mostly focused on the three key challenges for the energy transition. Engie, Singapore Power Group and the Thai national oil company PTT are all working on dApps to track certificates of guarantees of origin.

In regulated markets such as those in Europe, utilities like Engie could use a dApp to show customers where electricity had come from.

A second focus area for the EW Chain is demand response. Here, dApps are being developed by players such as Elia and Stedin, a Dutch distribution system operator. Both have dApps that are focused on integrating small-scale distributed energy resources into the grid.

The third group of dApps is aimed at vehicle charging. Examples in this category include the German startups Share&Charge and Wirelane, which are looking to carry out smart charging using the EW Chain.

“In some ways, the work has just begun,” said Morris.