Distributed ledger technology has the potential to improve efficiencies for utility providers by tracking the chain of custody for grid materials. Beyond provenance tracking, blockchain offers unique solutions for renewable energy distribution. There are several use cases including real-time data management, moving carbon credits, and renewable energy certificates.
The main benefits of blockchain in the energy sector are reduced costs, environmental sustainability and increased transparency for stakeholders, while not compromising privacy.
How does blockchain impact utility providers?
Electric power providers are large and complex firms that generate energy from power plants, solar farms, and various energy sources. Utility providers don’t compete with one another in the same respect to financial services or the banking industry. These firms are more willing to share information and data, which presents a unique opportunity for blockchain’s shared ledger.
Enterprise Ethereum can process and validate data from many devices at the grid edge before securing the data onto the blockchain. Secondly, energy providers can utilise blockchain to create a system for transactions of data which is critical to distribution. Lastly, distributed ledger technology can be used to develop a system for transacting energy among a diverse set of actors.
How does blockchain impact the oil and gas industry?
The implementation of blockchain technology in oil and gas trading can lower costs associated with the maintenance of various trading systems. Furthermore, blockchain can also reduce costs associated with labour, data management, data visibility, settlement delays, and inter-system communication.
Enterprise Ethereum enables fast integration of new commodities by re-programming the original smart contract. The oil and gas industry is composed of thousands of companies. These firms are roughly split into three categories: upstream, midstream and downstream. The journey of one drop of resource can include hundreds of separate entities, companies, processes, and legal agreements.
How does blockchain impact the upstream oil and gas segment?
Upstream refers to the parts of the industry having to do with resource exploration and extraction. The upstream oil and gas segment is dominated by four key stakeholders: majors, NOCs (national oil companies), independents, and oilfield services. Majors are large oil and gas companies that manage or own oilfield and well activity. Upstream requires the involvement of dozens of stakeholders, all of whom rely on the data provided by other firms. Blockchain technology optimises for wide-scale, multi-party data coordination.
How does blockchain impact the midstream oil and gas segment?
Midstream refers to parts of the industry involved with storing and transporting resources once they are extracted. Midstream also includes the management of vast transportation networks and substantial regulation. The midstream oil and gas segment can benefit from disaster mitigation and infrastructure maintenance. The heavy regulation and asset intensity require oil and gas companies to focus on risk mitigation. Consequently, these firms can uniquely benefit from sharing information with others in the industry. Blockchain technology excels at providing multi-stakeholder information sharing, especially for asset tracking.
Blockchain technology has the potential to transform the energy sector. The energy industry has been consistently catalysed by innovations including rooftop solar, electric vehicles, and smart metering. Now, the Enterprise Ethereum blockchain presents itself as the next emerging technology to spur growth in the energy sector through its smart contracts and systems interoperability. Of the many use cases for blockchain, energy and sustainability are often less recognised. However, the World Economic Forum, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and PwC released a joint report identifying more than 65 existing and emerging blockchain use cases for the environment.