A new open source application from Energy Web is designed to enable blockchains to be transitioned to zero carbon electricity.

The application, EW Zero, is intended for use by individuals and businesses to bring a clean energy approach to the decentralised nature of blockchain and the underlying computational activities.

The app was developed alongside the first decarbonisation of a public blockchain, XRP Ledger, a digital payment system developed by Ripple as a more efficient alternative to Bitcoin.

For this case energy attribute certificates from renewable energy assets are being used to decarbonize the blockchain’s electricity use.

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To decarbonize the XRP Ledger, EW Zero was used in partnership with Energy Web member 3Degrees to source renewables from the UK, US and the Philippines for a period of one year.

“While the mainstream adoption of blockchain and crypto is encouraging, we must constantly evaluate how we innovate to ensure the future of global finance is sustainable,” says Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. “As digital payments continue to evolve, we need to make long-term systemic shifts as an industry to ensure digital transformation doesn’t come at the cost of our planet.”

Public blockchains based on proof-of-work such as Bitcoin are notorious for the high energy consumption. According to Energy Web, the top five energy consuming blockchains currently use up to 170TWh of electricity per year — more than the state of New York. However, while the use of renewables is growing, its share at 39% still has huge potential for growth.

With the XRP Ledger as a starting point, Energy Web, Ripple and the newly established XRP Ledger Foundation are calling on other blockchain communities to join the move to being powered by zero-carbon electricity.

Energy Web says it has already followed suit, decarbonising one year’s worth of electricity use for the Energy Web Chain with renewable energy attribute certificates.

EW Zero is designed to enable renewable energy buyers to find and source procurement options from across a wide variety of digital marketplaces globally. The app integrates the marketplaces, including those built with the EW Origin suite, through a single digital interface.

Benefits intended include simplifying the procurement process, increasing transparency on the available options and reducing the costs associated with matching buyers and sellers.

This first EW Zero transaction was completed in fiat. Next, Energy Web plans to enable transactions on EW Zero to take place in the native currency of the blockchain being decarbonised and for anyone in a given blockchain ecosystem to individually purchase renewables for their chain, whether they are a developer, miner, end-user or another ecosystem member.