Major Spanish energy company Endesa has revealed plans to open a blockchain laboratory in an effort to encourage development of blockchain-based solutions for the energy industry.
Endesa, the largest power utility in Spain, has joined the growing number of companies across various industries looking to leverage blockchain technology for industry-specific applications.
The electricity provider, through its open collaborative platform Endesa Energy Challenges, has issued an open call for applications from any interested participant looking to develop distributed ledger solutions, to become a part of the company’s blockchain laboratory.
The new blockchain-specific lab is set up with the intent to foster and accelerate new blockchain applications and use-cases for the energy industry while seeking to transform the current model of infrastructure in the energy industry.
The initiative is the latest among several endeavors to implement blockchain solutions in the energy industry. One proposed application from early 2016 revealed the possibility of ‘smart plugs’ based on the innovation, which would help lower power bills for everyday users. More recently, German power company Enercity enabled bitcoin as a method of payment for users to settle utility bills.
The Transformative Potential of Blockchain
The announcement by Endesa lauds blockchain as an “ancillary technology that enabled the development of bitcoin” that can transform the way business is conducted across the world. “It is an almost incorruptible digital ledger,” Endesa added, pointing to “information (stored on the ledger) that can never be deleted.”
An excerpt adds:
Endesa’s objective with this platform is to learn; make controlled mistakes, check to see what implications there may be; and understand the rules in a decentralised world where there is still a long way to go.
The open call is inviting participants from across the world, be it individuals, startups, companies or universities. Applications will be collected between November 1 and January 31 on the company’s Energy Challenges platform. The company will determine the most viable projects in a shortlist during the time period. A final shortlist of viable projects will be determined by Endesa, which will then start working with those participating candidates, between February and end-of-March.
Finally, selected winners will be announced on April 1 and the company will commence developing those projects with the winners.
New Technology, New Energy
The technology of blockchain has already seen implementation in peer-to-peer transactions among users of solar panels to trade excess energy, in Australia. In August, Power Ledger a Perth-startup announced trials that would determine how solar-energy adopters would buy, sell or exchange excess solar energy on a blockchain, instead of the traditional grid.
The endeavor is one among several examples of how startups are looking to pin a transparent and efficient new-age distributed grid for the sustainable energy market, using blockchain technology, around the world.
Featured image from iStock.