By James Lawrence - News - 2 weeks ago

WEF Report on Blockchain’s Potential to ‘Change the Face’ of Renewable Energy in Africa

World Economic Forum (WEF), November 29, published an article suggesting blockchain could grant electrically-insecure African residents access to electricity through renewable energy trading, and greater control over their consumption. These features are enabled by the auditability and security of distributed ledger technology.

The article notes that rural areas of Rwanda, where 70 percent of the population lives, there is only currently 18 percent has access to electricity. An infographic map with the piece shows the majority of sub-Saharan nations lack general electrification. The seventh goal number of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets universal energy access by 2030, while simultaneously driving for “global consensus on renewable energy in off-grid communities.”

The WEF suggests that for populations to have greater access to electricity, there needs to be greater connectivity and data management in decentralized energy development. Decentralized energy refers to a network of electrical energy generation, not a single plant, but a variety of small, grid-connected devices to generate and distribute power. Both the WEF and UN advocate these generators, referred to as distributed energy resources (DER), to be renewable sources, solar photovoltaic panels specifically.

“With the emergence of blockchain (a protocol that eliminates intermediaries), it is possible to establish an auditable encrypted ledger that can record energy consumption, credit histories (which are relevant when there is a need for access financing), as well as provide energy trading between households; giving consumers more control of their energy requirements and consumption.”

The article mentions, non-profit, Energy Web Foundation (EWF), who begun developing an “open-source scalable blockchain platform with the aim of creating a market standard for the energy industry to build upon and run their own blockchain-based solutions.”

“EWF’s first use case, EW Origin, creates a marketplace where all smart meters on solar PV can communicate. It also records the provenance of renewable electricity generated, with clear details of source type, time, location and CO2 emissions. This provides a universal dashboard tracking the energy consumption of the world.”

DLT technology allows a transparent yet secure platform, helping small energy consumers achieve electrical and financial inclusion, as well as accelerating the adoption of decentralized energy networks. Ultimately enabling universal energy access that leverages clean renewables energy sources, the power of blockchain.