Category Archives: Energy Web Foundation

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Spanish Energy Firm to Use Blockchain Tracking System

Spanish

One of the biggest Spanish energy companies, Iberdrola, is going to use blockchain technology to track electric power across the country, according to local independent media outlet Europa Press.

The first trial of this decentralized system was conducted by Kutxabank and its subsidiary Cajasur, one of the biggest shareholders in the energy company. The bank is from the Basque, a semi-autonomous region within Spain. During the test, the power company used energy from two wind farms and one power station to the bank’s offices in the Basque and the city of Cordoba.

The system used in the pilot program was of the Energy Web Foundation, an open-source blockchain platform that allows different energy programs to test their pilot on their ledger. According to the results of the test, blockchain technology can enable a hierarchy of sorts of power producers and help automate the entire process from the point of generation to consumption.

Iberdrola will use the distributed technology-based system to issue “guarantee of origin”, a concept that enables customers to see the origin of their power thus allowing greener technologies to flourish. Additional benefits of the new system include added transparency and reduced operational costs due to automation.

Blockchain technology is now being adopted by the Spanish power industry on a wider scale. Recently, a Spanish power company was issued a blockchain syndicated loan with the BBVA bank acting as the intermediary between two other banks.

 

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Mining and Blockchain Energy Take Center Stage at Senate Talks

A recent discussion at the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources raised the burning issue of crypto mining once again, suggesting that lawmakers are keen to find a legislative balance.

This is unsurprising given recent attention being paid to cryptocurrency and blockchain by the US Senate. Past discussions in Senate bodies over the futures of cryptocurrencies have failed to be overly optimistic but there is a general feeling that the tone is changing. Earlier this year, SEC’s Jay Clayton said to a Senate hearing:

“As Chairman Giancarlo and I stated recently, we are open to exploring with Congress, as well as with our federal and state colleagues, whether increased federal regulation of cryptocurrency trading platforms is necessary or appropriate. We also are supportive of regulatory and policy efforts to bring clarity and fairness to this space.”

This latest hearing which examined aspects of crypto mining were seen as positive, and certainly lacked the hostility of many discussions in the past.

The chairman of the Committee, Sen Lisa Murkowski started on a positive note by looking at advantages that may be offered by blockchain to securing the nations energy infrastructure, given that many utilities had expressed concerns about strains on the energy grid through an increase of crypto mining. This concern, along with those of users in some areas regarding the possibility of hiked energy prices, was addressed by the committee.

On this subject, Thomas Golden representing the Electric Power Research Institute suggested there needs to be more discussion between utility companies and their customers over this question. Claire Henly, managing director of the Energy Web Foundation agreed that “Bitcoin’s energy use is a substantial concern and we know that Bitcoin’s energy use will prevent it from being able to scale”.

She suggested that one possible answer would be to make proof-of-stake and proof-of-authority algorithms far more energy efficient which may add feasible alternatives to scaling a blockchain without requiring large amounts of power.

Not only is it important for the future that sensible discussion at the top level takes place between legislators and all parties on the future of crypto mining in the US, but also to find viable alternatives to make current systems more agreeable for both mining companies and regular consumers.

Another possible development from the discussion were the senators’ views on how blockchain might be used to enhancing the energy sector, including shipping, security and expanding existing tech.

 

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