The Energy Web Foundation has announced the launch of Energy Web Chain (EW Chain), the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector.
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 decentralised applications (dApps) running on Energy Web test networks that are expected to transition to the live network over the coming weeks.
- How blockchain outlines the digital transformation of utilities
- UK launches first blockchain-based grid asset register
This first wave of “dApps” focuses on creating customer and business value by expanding markets for renewable energy trading, increasing the effectiveness and depth of demand response programs, and streamlining electric vehicle charging.
“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.”
“This is a watershed moment for accelerating a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system,” added Jesse Morris, chief commercial officer of EWF. “I hope that we will look back on today’s EW Chain launch as another inflection point in electricity’s evolution, just as we now see wind and solar tumbling down the cost curve, the deployment of smart meters and other digital infrastructure, and the surge of electric vehicle investment and ownership.”
More than ten organisations are hosting validator nodes for the Energy Web Chain. These organisations 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, allowing any company, individual, or internet-connected device to 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. 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.
“Never before have we had a globally decentralised, open-source, public network supported by some of the world’s largest corporate entities, let alone in the energy sector,” explained EWF’s Morris. “Yet EWF Affiliates—including utilities, grid operators, and young companies experimenting with blockchain in energy—are standing up validator nodes on a decentralized public network to support a global technology. That’s incredible. These companies rarely collaborate or jointly innovate, and now they’re teaming up to support a brand new digital technology.”