Blockchain continues to be the talk of the town. It has already dominated 2017, and the same is expected in 2018. Numerous sectors introduced blockchain to reform their processes, and it seems that there is no end to it. Companies are still in the process of making good use of the blockchain-based applications. Some of the companies like WePower have successfully developed blockchain-in-energy platform.
What is in store this year for the blockchain in energy?
Established firms are in the process of collaborating with blockchain startups to tap the true potential of this technology. This year will witness the ultimate crusade of advantages offered by the blockchain technology in the energy sector. With the rise in total funding for the blockchain driven startups against traditional VC’s, it is obvious that the technology will be mined to the extreme and in the long run will bring true value to the existing sectors.
By the end of this year, blockchain intends to bring some changes in the existing process framework. Let us have a look at what is expected ahead:
- Accelerated Blockchain Investments:
A major percentage of funding for the blockchain in energy sector comes from initial coin offering (The ICO’s) which is almost 75 percent of total raise. The investments are expected to gain an acceleration further in comparison to the traditional venture capital. The utility investment trends are going upwards as more and more companies are successful in completing pilot projects. Many utilities driven companies are investing directly in startups driven by blockchain. Pacific Gas and electric, Innogy, Engie, Tepco are some names to have already invested in Energy Web Foundation, which has reported funding of $17 million in 2017.
- Blockchain will create an ultimate business model
As the year proceeds, blockchain driven business models will crystallize the existing models. EV charging and REC (renewable energy credit) became successful in creating a revenue stream. EV charging has limited infrastructure, non-existent payment scheduling software and other hurdles making it less resistant to adopt new concepts. In case of REC, legacy platforms can be replaced by the blockchain technology keeping them in the chain with existing regulations.
- Blockchain utilities will go for pilot phase
During the current year, utilities analyzing the blockchain technology are planning and implementing the pilot project as opposed to the previous practices of blockchain-in-energy pilots without the utility involvement. PG&E has already submitted a budget for the funding of two blockchain pilots for Electric Program Investment Charge or EPIC. The company has posted about the job opening for the blockchain project manager, who will take care of the implementation part of the project.
- The wholesale trading platform
As most of the pilots are focused on peer-to-peer energy trading, such projects account for almost 59 percent. This method is not considered commercially feasible as wholesale trading is more successful and the same was manifested by two European pilots- BTL and Ponton, in collaboration with many industry partners. BTL is now introducing a commercial trading platform while as Ponton announced its wholesale trading platform.
By the end of this year, blockchain in energy will cross the important milestones and will be ready to conform to regulatory setups. Blockchain has the ability to change the game for the traditional energy players. We have to wait and see it happen.