We are still in the early days and many pilot applications of blockchain have yet to be deployed, operated and analyzed before the vision is either realized or discarded. Given the power of the arrival of this new technology and the eagerness with which it has been embraced by so many market participants its longevity almost feels assured
While Bitcoin and Ethereum apply broadly, individual industry specialized cryptocurrencies are springing up and the energy industry and renewable energy in particular offer cryptocurrencies a uniquely receptive market and an opportunity to change the way that electricity is bought and sold. Today there are over 122 organizations involved in energy blockchain technology and 40 projects in operation.
Renewable Energy projects offer a perfect growth industry for blockchain, offering to replace existing cumbersome, lengthy trading and clearing activities with a clean and efficient marketplace. The many different sources of generated electrons all merge in the grid, but the blockchain ledger could tell you which electrons came from which source. Certificates, RIN credits, tax credits and other guarantees are all mechanisms whose complex data and the cash flows are dealt efficiently by blockchain. Storage has brought with it a potentially complex distribution of cash flows from “value stacking”, a perfect target application for a blockchain. Additionally, blockchain can allow spinning reserve capacity used to back up intermittent energy sources, to be improved by more efficient energy transactions closer to production.