Blockchain: Disrupting the Renewable Energy Landscape
Cooperation between the Center for Innovative Finance and SUSI Partners AG
This study, conducted by the Center for Innovative Finance in cooperation with SUSI Partners AG, provides an overview of the applications of blockchain technology in the field of renewable energies. It shows that the use of blockchain technology can generate new and promising approaches for solutions to the current challenges facing the electricity and energy market.
Due to intensified climate protection efforts, technological advancements and efficiency gains, renewable energies have been able to achieve significant growth in recent years. However, this growth and other major changes in the energy sector (e.g. market liberalization), lead to certain challenges. At the same time, the emergence of blockchain technology brings new opportunities and could potentially resolve some of the challenges in the energy sector.
After giving an introduction to blockchain technology, we identify and discuss 14 use cases of blockchain technology in the renewable energy sector. We have created a comprehensive market overview and categorization framework for blockchain related projects and companies in the energy sector. Additionally, two projects are presented in the form of case studies.
This whitepaper focuses on 14 use cases of blockchain technology in the area of renewable energies and divides them into five categories. The use cases in the “Others” category have not been studied in more depth.
The most important insights of the study are summarized in the following three points:
- Some of the applications have a disruptive character and could thus result in great changes in the respective area. In particular peer-to-peer (P2P) electricity trading but also applications in the field of “asset management & operations” fall into this category.
- Other areas of application can also be used in today’s system. In this way, possible efficiency increases could be achieved primarily in the areas “asset transparency” and “grid operations”.
- The market overview shows a great interest in the potential applications of blockchain in the energy market. Many new blockchain start-ups and established companies are already active on the market.
Since blockchain technology is very young, only few of the use cases have been able to reach market maturity at this point. One also has to consider that a regulatory framework still has to be created for the comprehensive use of blockchain technology in the energy market. However, blockchains provide promising and new solutions and will very likely play an important role in the energy industry and the electricity market of the future. This development can already be observed today. The market overview performed by the Center for Innovative Finance shows very clearly that actors in the energy industry have already shown great interest in the new technology. In particular “peer-to-peer trade” is pursued both by established companies and by start-ups.
About SUSI Partners AG
SUSI Partners AG is a FINMA regulated Swiss Investment Manager with over 50 full-time investment professionals located in Zug, Zurich, Frankfurt, Singapore and Luxembourg. The company specializes in financing the development of sustainable energy infrastructure in the fields of renewable energy generation, energy efficiency retrofits and the installation of energy storage and smart grid infrastructure.