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Study Indicates Blockchain Vital Ingredient for Carbon Efficient World

Study Indicates Blockchain Vital Ingredient for Carbon Efficient World

According to a major comprehensive study, blockchain technologies “can clearly benefit energy systems operations, markets, and consumers”.


The study, ‘Blockchain technology in the energy sector: A systematic review of challenges and opportunities‘, was made available online last month. It was conducted by scientists from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland who were looking deeper into the potential of blockchain technology when applied to the energy sector.

Having reviewed 140 blockchain research projects and startups, the researchers mapped out the “potential and relevance of blockchains for energy applications”, from which they have drawn several varied conclusions with regards to the present and future opportunities of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) as well as the challenges the technology faces.

Citing hallmark blockchain features such as “disintermediation, transparency and tamper-proof transactions”, the study also describes the “novel solutions” that DLT offers, writing that it also empowers consumers and “small renewable generators to play a more active role in the energy market and monetize their assets”. It adds that blockchains have resulted in sharing economy applications in energy, prompting authors to cite “novel market models and energy democratization”.

Intelligent energy

Referencing a survey of the German Energy Agency, the study highlights the growing positive sentiments toward blockchain with 20% of them seeing the tech as a “game changer for energy suppliers”. Furthermore, it notes that numerous energy utility companies have begun to explore DLT’s potential “as an enabling technology for low-carbon transition and sustainability”.

A city in South Korea and the United Kingdom are just two examples of jurisdictions that have partnered with blockchain enterprises on a mission to reduce carbon emissions via their solutions. The UK example is notable as the intention behind the ambitious project is to turn the city climate-positive, offsetting 110% of the emissions and utilizing the positive figure to fund conservation projects around the world.

There is also mention of blockchain enabled Virtual Power Plants (VPPs), these are distributed energy production facilities that connect multiple energy producers to a cloud-based system where excess and idle energy can be tapped and efficiently distributed and monitored. In South Korea, a VPP project was recently announced with renewable power generating units as the core energy model, intended to reduce energy consumption demands during peak-hours and redistribute it to wherever it is needed.

Power trades

A notable takeaway from the study is the examination of peer-to-peer (P2P) trading and decentralized energy. As written in the report: “Potential use cases in this category are decentralized trading in microgrids, bilateral transactions between prosumers and consumers and business-to-business (B2B) energy trading.”

Solutions provided by blockchain could be used in conjunction with VPPs, enhance grid and network management control as well other benefits. Most interestingly, direct P2P energy trading between users could create an on-demand energy marketplace, something of which numerous energy-based eco-blockchain startups are vying for, including one that is soon to go ahead in Japan.

The study is one of the most comprehensive of its kind and from an unbiased perspective, carefully examines blockchain in the energy sector as a future technology that boasts marvelous promise, but is not without its challenges.

Singing off, the study writes: “Blockchain technologies can be disruptive for energy companies and face a large variety of challenges to achieve market penetration, including legal, regulatory and competition barriers. Additional research initiatives, trials, projects, and collaborations will show if the technology can reach its full potential, prove its commercial viability and finally be adopted in the mainstream.”


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South Korea Partners With US Blockchain Company to Reduce Carbon Footprint

A major South Korean city is clamping down on carbon emission by partnering up with an eco-friendly blockchain company based in the United States.

Progressive blockchain adoption

The capital city of Gangwon Province, Chuncheon, has signed a partnership deal with clean energy focused blockchain company Swytch with the aim of boosting economic and environmental sustainability.

Within the partnership, participating organizations will be in pursuit of combining solar energy with the Swytch blockchain network. According to a press release, Mayor of Chuncheon Lee Jae-Soo and Brock Pierce, Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, were in attendance of the meeting that saw the agreement come to fruition.

Several other South Korean cities have already partnered with Swytch, echoing the growing confidence of blockchain technologies in one of the most proactive blockchain-nations in the world.

Mayor Jae-Soo said, “There is no doubt that growing our renewable energy dependence is a positive action… We are enthusiastic about this partnership that will decrease our carbon footprint and increase sustainable energy.”

Swytch is a blockchain platform that “tracks, verifies and rewards” the reduction of carbon emissions, it utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to monitor the displacement of carbon.

Youngsook Park, vice president of businesses development of Swytch in South Korea said, “This partnership aims to address energy shortages while incentivizing infrastructure development in a city that is ready to decrease its dependence on fossil fuels.”

In terms of “real-world” application, the great hurdle that blockchain technology must overcome should it fully launch itself into the mainstream consciousness, environmental projects appear to marry with the nascent tech perfectly.

Blockchain to the rescue

Across the globe, other eco-friendly efforts are underway. In the United Kingdom, the city of Liverpool recently partnered an eco-digital blockchain company to become the first ‘climate-positive’ city in the world. The partnership announced in late July revealed plans to offset carbon emissions by 110% in the city and then convert this positive figure into funding for other global conservation projects.

Japan is looking to improve solar energy efficiency in a big way, through another partnership that incentivises those who invest in clean energy sources, create efficient power management by selling excess capacity and most fascinatingly, allow for ‘power-sharing’ between customers across the blockchain.

Another blockchain project in Moldova has set its eyes on the sun in partnership with a South African solar power marketplace. Users can purchase solar cells and then lease the energy cells to the Technical University of Moldova, solar cell owners will then earn a cryptocurrency from this lease.

Recently in the Philippines, a startup that combines Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technologies has been commissioned to tackle the heavily polluted Pasig River, a 27-kilometre long river that runs through the capital city of Manila.


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