Blockchain + renewable energy "popular" European power market
The decentralization and immutability of the blockchain not only promotes the transparency and information sharing of power transactions, but also greatly alleviates the difficulty of accessing the Internet with a high proportion of intermittent renewable energy. Facts have proved that the "dark horse combination" of "blockchain + renewable energy" can accelerate the development of grid modernization and intelligence, and ultimately push green energy into the mainstream of the power market.
In August of this year, the Dutch port of Rotterdam launched Distro, a power trading platform based on solar and battery energy storage, powered by blockchain distributed ledger technology and artificial intelligence. This is the world's first high-frequency distributed energy trading platform, which can instantly respond to changes in power supply and demand and local real-time energy prices, and then optimize the allocation of resources on the power supply side to ensure highly accurate consumer demand and reduce unnecessary consumption at both ends of supply and demand. .
Clean power trading 'easier'
According to Bloomberg, Distro was developed by the Rotterdam Blockchain Lab, a joint venture between the city of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, and S&P Global Platts. Equipped with an artificial intelligence instrument that acts as a "transaction agent tool", buyers and sellers can use this to understand market preferences, supply and demand, and dynamic information on energy prices, thereby facilitating electricity purchases and purchases more freely and efficiently.
In the two months to the second week of October, the Distro platform completed 20 million transactions, of which 92% of the solar power was "as-produced and sold", built between PV owners, public institutions, and corporate buyers. A bridge for peer-to-peer transactions.
Statistics from S&P Global Platts show that since the Distro trial operation, end-user energy costs have been reduced by 11%, renewable energy producers' revenue has increased by 14%, and the return on investment of battery energy storage has also increased by 20%. %, the Port of Rotterdam is also expected to reduce carbon emissions by 30 million tons once commercial operations are achieved. In addition, Distro greatly reduces the burden on the port's conventional power grid, and the electricity capacity connected to the network can save 25% of the cost.
James Rilett, head of innovation at S&P Global Platts, said Distro is a milestone, greatly improving the efficiency of renewable energy electricity buying and selling transactions, making it almost "seamless", while also improving the return on investment of solar and energy storage. , maximizing the use of renewable energy.
“Blockchain technology is the key to achieving supply chain optimization and energy sustainability,” admits Martijn Thijsen, Head of Digital Strategy, Transformation and Business Development at the Port of Rotterdam. Cost-effective renewable energy trading and consumption.”
Multiple integration cases "in progress"
In fact, Distro is not the first case of "integrated application" of blockchain technology in the field of renewable energy and power. Currently, many similar projects around the world are being deployed and promoted. It is understood that most utility companies and grid operators in Europe have used blockchain to track and certify clean energy with a megawatt-hour level of power generation. The largest European wind power developer and operator on the continent, Spain’s Iverdrolla, is one of them. member.
According to "New Europe Weekly", Yverdrola is using blockchain technology to track its energy supply in real time to ensure that 100% of the products it provides to customers come from renewable energy. It is reported that at least two of the company's wind farms and one power plant are connected to a monitoring platform powered by blockchain technology, and customers can get a "certificate" indicating the source of energy. This decentralized solution increases transparency and also By cutting operating expenses, Yverdrolla can save up to 400,000 euros a year.
Estonia is also very active in the integration of blockchain and clean energy. It is reported that the country is currently testing WePower, a blockchain-powered energy procurement and trading platform aimed at promoting the development of clean energy. The platform brings together producers, consumers, infrastructure investors, etc., and each participant can interact in this open and fair market.
In addition, South Africa has also created a blockchain power trading platform, the Sun Exchange. This is a crowdfunding platform based on the solar power equipment rental market, where participants around the world can buy components for solar panels and lease them to schools, hospitals and businesses in South Africa, based on the amount of electricity used per month. Obtain investment income, and the funds from crowdfunding will be invested in small and medium-scale solar power generation projects. With the help of the Sun Exchange, high-quality solar power projects in South Africa have obtained initial funding, enterprises and institutions have used solar power, and investors participating in crowdfunding can receive annual investment returns ranging from 10% to 15%.
Obviously, blockchain has natural advantages in data confidentiality, smart contracts, ecological incentives, etc., which can greatly improve the reliable supply of intermittent and unpredictable renewable energy. The United Nations pointed out in a report that blockchain is one of the most promising technologies to tackle environmental problems today, and can make green energy use as convenient as online shopping.
Clean energy innovation "key points"
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has also listed blockchain as one of the innovative key technologies to transform the renewable energy sector. IRENA pointed out in a report that to accelerate the development of low-cost renewable energy, the world needs at least 30 innovative technology tools and enable it to benefit from renewable energy at scale, blockchain is one of them.
According to IRENA, nearly 200 companies around the world are partnering with blockchain technology companies for blockchain-based solutions that can support a wider range of energy trading and grid balancing solutions. Blockchain-based smart contracts can provide a push to modernize the grid and increase the use of renewable energy, especially hard-to-absorb intermittent power sources, while reducing costs and speeding up transaction processes.
In the past 10 years, the cost of renewable energy has dropped significantly, among which, the cost of solar photovoltaic power generation has dropped by nearly 75%, and the cost of onshore wind power has dropped by nearly 25%. Under the background that the era of grid parity of renewable energy is approaching, how to reduce the cost of integrating it into the grid and increase the proportion of grid connection as much as possible has become the focus of technological innovation.
Dolf Dielen, Director of IRENA Innovation and Technology Center, said frankly: "Blockchain can realize peer-to-peer electricity transactions, manage renewable energy and carbon emission reduction certificates, and ensure that all transactions cannot be tampered with, making renewable energy transactions and applications more reliable and efficient. ."