Announced on September 27, 2017, the UK's Energy Entrepreneurs Fund awarded a grant to energy tech company Electron.
According to the report, the funding will allow Electron to scale and develop “a blockchain trading platform that allows electricity consumers to be paid to adjust their energy consumption to balance supply and demand in a system.” Energy supplier National Grid provided market design while automation company Siemens guided technical implementation in support of Electron's application.
Siemens is also a participant in another blockchain research project being developed by the US Department of Energy.
With government backing, Electron will be able to create a new kind of marketplace for energy. Electron plans to transition away from the traditional practice of matching buyers and sellers one-to-one, and introduce liquidity to the energy market through what it calls “collaborative trading.” The goal is to create a market that allows the value of one consumer to be shared among multiple parties by enabling those parties to better coordinate with one another.
A former project by Electron, as reported by ETHNews, utilized Ethereum to run a pilot test for a decentralized "top down" energy platform. The test ran simulated representations that used UK market data metrics encompassing 53 million metering points from 60 energy suppliers. While it hasn’t been specified whether Electron is using Ethereum for this project, its website mentions, “In testing and developing our platforms we have built and released several tools that expand the connectivity of the Ethereum and IPFS decentralised web projects.”
CEO of Electron Paul Ellis described blockchain technology as an agent of change to the energy industry.
“Blockchain is not just a technology. It is a revolutionary new way of transacting business without a central intermediary. Removing this intermediary enables new, better models of co-operation on an efficient, demonstrably fair platform.”
Electron’s trading platform also received "2017 Tech Pioneer" status by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The award signifies Electron's development of solutions that will vastly benefit both businesses and society alike.
Head of the WEF's Tech Pioneer program Fulvia Montresor spoke on Electron's approach to energy markets:
"Electron’s pioneering use of blockchain tackles the energy usage challenge by increasing transparency and providing a framework for collaboration. Solutions like this are important tools to ensure energy needs are met while environmental impacts are minimised.”