Blockchain in the Utility Industry

Wednesday, 21 February, 2018 | 09:00 - 10:30

What should the power industry do with blockchain? Once a nerdy pursuit, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and the underlying technologies (blockchain, distributed ledgers) have attracted interest from businesses and the general public. While the power consumption of the Bitcoin blockchain, which is currently estimated to be equivalent to the national consumption in Ireland, puts it at odds with the drive for energy efficiency, other features make blockchain intuitively attractive for power and energy. It is a decentralised computing technology, which matches the transition to a decentralised grid with the rise of distributed energy resources. It also provides a technical tool to build trust without trusted parties, which could provide a solution to the lack of traceability of electricity.

Form its start in cryptocurrencies, blockchain has rapidly been moving to trading and logistics, where most of related business developments are. Trading is also how it is entering the energy world through initiatives from major companies (e.g., Energy Web Foundation, Enerchain) and start-ups in peer-to-peer trading, microgrid operations, and funding of renewable energy projects.

Is the blockchain technology in all its aspects really necessary for these businesses? Conversely, could it have other applications in the energy world? This session will give attendees the elements they need to make an informed judgment by clarifying the essence and structure of blockchain technologies, and reviewing available tools and significant initiatives inside and outside the power industry.

Utility Digitalization Expert
Dr. Rafael Carrillo
R&D Engineer
Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM)

Dr. Rafael Carrillo is an R&D Engineer at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM). His research interests include signal and image processing, statistical signal processing, compressed sensing, machine learning, low dimensional models and inverse problems. He is particularly interested in the application of compressed sensing and sparse and low dimensional models to imaging problems. Dr. Carrillo holds an M.Sc. in electronic engineering from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, and a PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Delaware.

Utility Digitalization Expert
Oriol Pujoldevall
Blockchain Specialist
Grid Singularity

Oriol Pujoldevall is an energy engineer with expertise in the fields of Blockchain, decentralized generation, energy forecasting and smart cities. At InnoEnergy he was responsible for the design, production and direction of the first MOOC on Blockchain in the Energy Sector. Oriol holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Energy for Smart Cities, Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and a Master's degree in Energy Engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.