Blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies hold great promise to help solve key energy sector challenges. The growing number of connected devices and distributed energy resources is adding further complexity to the rapidly evolving energy system. Blockchain may be key to helping consumers, electric utilities and third parties interact with these devices and the system in a more secure, efficient and distributed way.
In this deep-dive session on energy at the OECD Blockchain Policy Forum, representatives from energy incumbents, blockchain start-ups, regulatory bodies, and researchers discussed the opportunities, challenges, and risks of applying blockchain technologies in the energy sector, including:
Blockchain today: What is the degree of interest and investment in blockchain today? Who are the key players, and what applications/use-cases are receiving the most interest?
Future potential: What use cases in energy have the greatest potential for demonstrating value and scaling up, and are they receiving adequate attention today? Which of these are evolutionary improvements, and which could be game-changers? What barriers stand in the way of realising their potential? Who stands to benefit?
Blockchain and decentralised energy: To what degree can blockchain enable a distributed energy future? What advantages or disadvantages might blockchain have, compared to traditional or other digital solutions? What improvements are needed to the technology, and what other policy, regulatory or behavioural barriers need to be addressed?
Enabling clean energy transitions: What broader role can blockchain play in decarbonising the energy sector? What other applications (e.g. P2P, EV charging, tracking RECs, facilitating energy access) could aid in the transition to sustainable energy?
Chair: Claire Henly - Managing Director, Energy Web Foundation
Jules Besnainou - Director, Cleantech Group
Dietrich Sümmermann - CEO, MotionWerk
Karin Widegren - Chair, ISGAN (International Smart Grid Action Network)