Energy Web Foundation Launches Public, Open-source, Enterprise-grade Blockchain Tailored to the Energy Sector

Zug, Switzerland, 19 June 2019 – The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) today announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than 10 EWF Affiliates—including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers—are hosting validator nodes for the live network. In addition, EWF is currently tracking 17 decentralized applications (dApps) running on Energy Web test networks that are expected to transition to the live network over the coming weeks. This first wave of dApps focuses on making it easier for individuals and companies to buy renewable energy, enabling customer-owned devices like batteries or air conditioning units to balance the grid (and be paid for doing so), and simplifying the way electric vehicles are charged.

"We started Energy Web Foundation in 2017 with a promise: a production version of Energy Web Chain by Q2 2019. We are proud to announce that we kept our promise. Energy Web Chain is now running in production mode,” said Hervé Touati, co-founder and chief executive officer for EWF. "Our next target, to be reached latest by Q4 2019, is to fully decentralize the chain. At that point, it will no longer be 'our' chain; it will be the energy sector’s blockchain—the first public blockchain where blocks are validated by energy sector companies.”

“EW token holders are alongside our worldwide EWF Affiliate community, supporting a platform capable of underpinning hundreds of different dApps that can fundamentally transform the energy sector,” added Jesse Morris, chief commercial officer of EWF. “Global energy sector investment last year totaled $1.8 trillion. And the Energy Web Chain—with its 100+ network of supporting Affiliates—boasts an unprecedented pathway to blockchain solution adoption and global scale across that massive industry.”

Over ten organizations are hosting validator nodes for the Energy Web Chain. These organizations are the foundation of the Energy Web chain’s public Proof-of-Authority (PoA) network design: a publicly accessible, ethereum-based network with permissioned validators. The chain itself is public; any company, individual, or internet-connected device can transact across the network without permission. This dramatically increases network interoperability and reduces solution development cost. At the same time, the chain’s validators are permissioned—they are known energy market participants identified and affiliated with EWF, and who has in essence “staked their brand” to help stand up this energy-specific blockchain. This PoA-based design comes with three additional benefits for the energy sector: scalability, energy efficiency (which also equates to low transaction costs for energy market participants using the network), and increased regulatory compliance.

“The Energy Web is essentially a new operating system—a new digital DNA—for the electricity grid,” explained EWF’s Morris. “Other token-based energy blockchain projects are focused on delivering singular decentralized applications. By contrast, the Energy Web is a blockchain infrastructure project focused on supporting all blockchain developers looking to accelerate the global transition away from fossil fuels toward efficiency and renewables. That’s a huge and exciting distinction.”

Today’s EW Chain launch represents the latest major milestone in the Energy Web’s fast-growing ecosystem. EWF formed in early 2017 with support from co-founders Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, as well as a cohort of ~12 initial Affiliates. By early 2018 EWF had surpassed 40 Affiliates and by early 2019 had crossed the 100-Affiliate threshold. Meanwhile, a growing list of respected utilities and grid operators have launched demonstrations, pilots, and even pre-commercial deployments on Energy Web test networks, including PJM-EIS, SP Group, Acciona, Iberdrola, Elia, and Stedin, among many others.

Like most public blockchains, the Energy Web Chain uses a native token to pay transaction costs and reward validators. But organizations are already experimenting across the Energy Web test networks and mainnet with additional uses of the token including: a) token staking to enhance data reputation and quality from internet-connected devices (e.g., electric vehicles, solar farms), b) directly using EW Tokens to pay prosumers and others for participating in the energy market, and c) decentralized finance for energy (e.g., stablecoins produced via EWT staking).

Beyond novel uses of the token, an expanding set of open-source software development toolkits (SDKs) help speed the time to commercial dApps, while the EW Link protocol allows everything from utility SCADA systems to smart meters to edge devices (e.g., inverters, EVs, thermostats) to connect to the EW Chain and transact via their digital identities. With billions of connected energy devices forecasted in the years just ahead, enabling them to easily transact on the Energy Web Chain is paramount.
“The electricity sector is on a clear pathway: more renewables, more distributed energy, more electric vehicles. According to industry forecasts, by 2030 consumers would invest more money in distribution-edge devices—solar PV, batteries, charging stations, electric vehicles, smart controls—than electric utilities would invest in power generation and electricity grids. This is a massive and unprecedented shift,” observed EWF’s Touati. “That shift will put enormous pressure on utilities to integrate all these investments and make good use of them. Customers will not want to pay twice. For that, utilities need new kinds of software technology, like the Energy Web Chain—distributed, open source, run by the industry—allowing low cost interoperability and trust between millions of devices and retailers or grid operators. Energy Web is bringing energy—if not power—back to the people."

About Energy Web Foundation

Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system by unleashing the potential of blockchain and decentralized technologies. EWF focuses on technology integration and development, fostering market innovation, speeding adoption, and building community. 

In mid-2019, EWF launched the Energy Web Chain, the world’s first enterprise-grade, open-source blockchain platform tailored to the sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs. EWF also fostered the world’s largest energy blockchain ecosystem, comprising utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers, and others.

The Energy Web has become the industry’s leading energy blockchain partner and most-respected voice of authority on energy blockchain. 


For more, visit https://energyweb.org

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