WePower claims world first, puts entire energy grid on the blockchain

The Lithuanian blockchain startup has partnered with Elering of Estonia to tokenise a year's worth of the country's grid data

Blockchain startup WePower has notched up a world first by tokenising a year’s worth of Estonian electrical grid data.

WePower says the pilot to put all consumption and production data from Estonian transmission system operator Elering onto the blockchain was part of “a groundbreaking collaboration” between the two organisations. It further explains that the hourly data from 700,000 households were aggregated by zip code, per hour, to reduce it to a manageable size. In other words, WePower uploaded 26,000 hours and 24 terawatt-hours of aggregated production and consumption data onto the blockchain and turned it into 39 billion smart energy tokens.

Each token is a digital self-settling power purchase contract representing one kilowatt-hour of power. The tokens are tradable and can be sold into the local energy wholesale market by linking the digital contracts with power grid data on the blockchain, WePower says in a press release.

Paving the way to digital revolution

The startup says that the “successful delivery of the landmark nationwide energy tokenisation pilot project”, WePower and Elering have paved the “the way for the digital revolution of the energy sector”.

Kaspar Karleep, CTO of WePower, says that “projects of this scale and ambition haven’t been attempted before, in part because of the complexity involved, but also because energy data is highly sensitive”.

The ideal infrastructure

Estonia provided the ideal infrastructure for this type of testing because the country has 100% smart meter coverage and a data sharing platform called Estfeed, which allows consumers to download and share their data with any persons or companies whom they choose.

WePower found that “Ethereum is mature enough to accommodate contracts with multi-year terms. However, while Ethereum is currently one of the most mature blockchain solutions supporting smart contracts, a fully decentralised application for large-scale autonomous usage is not yet feasible for WePower’s purposes”.

It adds: “Although the current platform and its core features can run on the Ethereum blockchain, to achieve WePower’s full vision some different blockchains will be tested to find the best fit for large-scale infrastructure projects”. For now, WePower is using a hybrid solution.

The new WePower trading platform will enable consumers to purchase green energy directly from producers, with information stored on the blockchain – as well as the wider business.

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