Australian blockchain firm Power Ledger and French green energy retailer ekWateur are betting that consumer choice can help spur the transition to sustainable energy usage.
In an announcement on April 1, the two firms revealed that they will be offering almost a quarter of a million French residents the opportunity to customize their energy mix, using blockchain technology to securely certify its source.
The new partnership will involve connecting ekWakteur’s network of over 220,000 electricity meters across France to a new blockchain-enabled tool from Power Ledger, dubbed Vision.
EkWakteur — a green energy retailer and aggregator which supplies 100% renewable electricity generated from wind turbines, photovoltaic panels and hydraulic plans — is reportedly the first company in France to provide 100% renewable gas from biomethane.
Using Power Ledger’s blockchain tool, households will be able to select their preferred energy mix and track it in 30-minute intervals, relying on the Vision platform to certify the origin and source of their chosen supply. Power Ledger’s executive chairman Dr. Jemma Green said:
“Whether consumers want to source energy from their neighbour’s solar rooftop panels, or a wind farm in Bordeaux, our platform gives consumers choice and control over their energy source.”
Both firms underscore the role that expanding consumer choice and flexibility can play in meeting the targets set at the Paris Climate Accords, which aim at a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Each household needs to be empowered to make the switch to green energy, Dr. Green argued.
The technology is set to go live across ekWakteur’s network by the year’s end, with Dr. Green claiming that the nationwide roll-out represents “a world-first in energy trading” by giving customers expanded control and security. It is also the company’s largest project to date.
Blockchain for decentralized renewables trading
At the start of this year, researchers at Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute proposed that blockchain can provide the infrastructure to innovate renewable energy management. They proposed tools that would support the forward selling of renewable electricity generation and tokenized interaction between energy providers and consumers.
Power Ledger has developed a blockchain-enabled renewable energy trading platform and a series of associated tools that support energy trading, renewable asset financing and more efficient carbon and renewable energy credit markets.
In September 2019, the firm launched its first trial of peer-to-peer energy trading technology in rural areas of Australia, designed to help commercial settlements and farms improve the efficiency of their power grid and reduce associated costs.
In November, Power Ledger realized the first commercial roll-out of its blockchain-based energy trading application, which enables users to pool their excess solar and battery storage to a Virtual Power Plant for greater control and management over their consumption.