Published on 2 December 2018 |
by Michael Barnard
2 December 2018 of Michael Barnard
Along with our normal daily coverage for clean technology news, CleanTechnica it also produces in-depth reports on various aspects of clean energy and clean transport. One of the emerging technologies we cover is not directly a clean technological innovation is blockchain, which promises to be a catalyst for innovation in the green economy in the near future. Blockchain is probably best known to the public as "having something to do with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, right?", Which is partially correct, but the technology itself has a wide range of applications, some of which will be crucial in the fields of distributed renewable energy , network management and energy storage, and smart contracts, among others.
The full report Blockchain: an enabling innovator for clean technology, which was published in July, is a deep immersion in the blockchain and its potential, and we will publish further extracts from the report in the coming weeks. (Read the last episode here.)
On April 15, 2018, the CleanTechnica the braintrust was interviewed for their opinions and their sentiment on blockchain for cleantech.
Nine questions were asked about both positive and negative impacts of blockchain on clean technology. 115 chose to take the survey on 2,655 who saw it. For Survey Monkey, which gives a security of plus or minus 10%. The results of this survey, in other words, are interesting and informative but not conclusive regarding the opinions of those informed CleanTechnica public.
The first two questions concerned the primary forms of new renewable generation, specifically related to loans. As part of the blockchain series, organizations dedicated to providing new funding have been covered, including WePower and SolarCoin. Furthermore, direct funding has been discussed for a long time through the initial offers of coins for clean technology. Since 2017 saw around $ 1 billion in initial coin offerings and $ 60 million in cleantech offers, it is interesting to note that about 40% of respondents were skeptical that this is another funding . This probably refers to the general skepticism about cryptocurrencies, which many expressed directly in the comments.
Also interesting is the variation of 5% between solar and wind responses, with more respondents thinking that solar would receive more funding. This is probably due to the reality that small-scale solar is much more profitable than small-scale wind energy, and the flow of dollars to cleantech funding is currently not a scale of investment in wind energy. on a company scale.
Many other respondents saw the potential for managing electricity distribution on the grid and paying for electricity. In fact, many of the blockchain solutions we have presented, including the Energy Web Foundation and LO3, are focused precisely on this, mediating the microgrid and power generation transactions to electricity consumption.
Some of these solutions use an intermediate cryptocurrency, but others simply use the blockchain distributed accounting capabilities to handle transactions with external settlement.
The potential of the vehicle-network solutions allowed by blockchain was considered less likely also by fans of electric vehicles CleanTechnica public. It is possible that this reflects the wide variety of solutions that have been discussed in the blockchain series, as buried in one of the pieces was a mention of Tennet's work with IBM to do exactly that.
Not yet mentioned in the series were the charging solutions for blockchain by eMotorWerks of Innogy SE Share & Charge. Both are peer-to-peer charging solutions designed to enable people with home chargers to monetize them by making other electric vehicle owners enter their driveway and pay for a certain time. eMotorWerks is a California startup that uses Innogy's blockchain solution, so it's both a platform and a direct game.
Both of the above categories are supply solutions, but one of the other large areas where electric vehicle charging could be affected by blockchain solutions is demand management. Loading a Tesla is equivalent to running a 400 degree Fahrenheit electric oven, and being able to reduce or eliminate the charging load remotely in exchange for compensation is an obvious negawatts solution that could easily help with balancing the network.
Not surprisingly, given the significant attention paid to cryptocurrency electricity consumption, including the more nuanced view of this relationship, the respondents were slightly more likely to think that cryptocurrencies constituted a net environmental drawback. With the stories of crypto-miners shopping in places with an economic and disastrous generation of coal for the environment, this is a completely understandable concern. While there are many solutions to this emerging problem, not least that is the collapse of the value of Bitcoin in recent months, it is still a concern worthy of note.
CleanTechnica the readers, once again not surprisingly, are the first to adopt the technology. This is in line with the psychological profile of people who accept and embrace the need to transform the supply and demand for energy and embrace technological change in general. At present, only 8% of Americans possess cryptocurrency, significantly below the CleanTechnica respondent average close to 40% (remembering the confidence disclaimer at the beginning of this evaluation). Since the expectation of use of the blockchain maps is very close to the property of the cryptocurrency, the possible explanation is that the respondents simply intended that they would treat the cryptocurrencies, not necessarily use other solutions mediated by the blockchain. And of course people interested in cryptocurrencies would be more likely to find and take the survey regardless.
The last question was revealing the sentiment. Most respondents believe that utilities would receive the least value from blockchain solutions. Nevertheless the numerous cases covered like Tennet and Fremantle, examples of PowerLedger in Australia where the utilities were directly involved in blockchain projects and the evaluation in CleanTechnica the pros and cons of smart contracts that indicated that they were strongly favorable to the seller and had to include public services that still own the distribution network.
In contrast, respondents clearly said that the expected winners were customers. The probable explanation for this is the belief that the cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions remove the average men from the solution, combined with a relatively strong preponderance among proponents of small and medium-sized microgeneration. CleanTechnica of public. Utilities seem to be considered more evil than not, on the contrary both of the necessary and of the value.
Given that utilities continue to be outrageous to major buyers, distributors and sellers of renewable energy, if the blockchain solutions do not bring them value but damage their business models, there is instead a strong potential for a bad interruption of the company of a positive one. It is easy to bet on electric cars as net business benefits for utilities, but in the case of the blockchain, CleanTechnica of braintrust seems to think that utilities should be careful. My assessment is that they are customers who will not be particularly advantaged and that the utilities will be fine, and that expectations on the contrary are of a more ideological or optimistic nature.
Finally, it would be neglected not to point out that the poll comments for this question indicated that some people chose "business" in the absence of an option to choose "none". The skepticism about the benefits of blockchain solutions still exists among the technological optimists of CleanTechnica of readers.
Stay tuned for more excerpts from Blockchain: an enabling innovator for clean technologyor view the summary and request a complete report at https://products.cleantechnica.com/reports/