Energy Web (EW) has announced that blockchain firm R3 has joined as a member of the world’s largest energy blockchain ecosystem.
Energy Web is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system by unleashing the potential of blockchain and decentralized technologies. EW focuses on its open-source, decentralized, digital technology stack — the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS) — to enable any device, owned by any customer, to participate in any energy market. The firm launched the Energy Web Chain, the world’s first enterprise-grade, public blockchain tailored to the energy sector and the anchor of the broader EW-DOS technology stack.
Based in New York, R3 is an enterprise blockchain software firm working with a broad ecosystem of more than 350 members and partners across multiple industries from both the private and public sectors to develop on Corda, its open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise, a commercial version of Corda for enterprise usage.
Energy markets around the world are evolving to allow aggregators and individual owners of distributed energy assets such as thermostats, solar PV systems, and electric vehicles to provide power grids with a range of services such as virtual power plants and frequency regulation. But traditionally in the energy sector, handling of settlements and payments is imprecise, with little transparency around the usage of assets or the calculation of fees and revenues as well as long lag times. The R3-Energy Web partnership will unlock same-day settlement for devices, businesses, and customers, including integration with utilities’ legacy billing systems.
The solution will connect R3’s Corda blockchain with the Energy Web stack. Corda enables businesses to transact directly and in strict privacy using smart contracts, reducing transaction and record-keeping costs and streamlining business operations, and provides proven integration with utilities’ legacy billing systems. In addition, the complexity of utility account net settlement in multi-layered markets can be drastically simplified, and risk profiles for energy-sector transactions can be greatly reduced.
“We designed Corda with privacy, scalability, and strong governance at its core — making it the perfect fit for businesses operating in complex and highly regulated sectors,” said Cathy Minter, CRO at R3. “The global energy sector is an ideal use case for Corda because it requires the scalability to handle millions of peer-to-peer transactions. You have a relatively small number of major companies — grid operators, utilities, renewable energy developers — but at the same time you have hundreds of millions of customers and distributed energy resources interconnected by the world’s power grids. It’s a complex settlement challenge that’s perfect for Corda.”
As a working example in Austria where Energy Web developed an Automatic Frequency Restoration Reserves (AFRR) marketplace for Austrian Power Grid, millions of IoT-connected energy assets are able to each send 450 signed confirmation messages to the marketplace in 15-minute delivery periods. All of those messages are then aggregated in order to settle payment for the delivery of purchased flexibility. A customer’s account accrues value over time and the customer can elect to have the balance transferred to their bank account or subtracted from their bill.
“With tens of millions decentralized energy assets integrating to the grid and participating in markets through the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System, we need a way to conduct settlement flawlessly and at scale” explained Walter Kok, CEO of Energy Web. “Since our electricity grids and the rules that govern them are highly regulated, requirements for settlements are quite different than in other industries. That is why our ecosystem members and users of EW-DOS will greatly benefit from the deep knowledge, experience and solutions R3 brings to the financial sector.”
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