PÖYRY POINT OF VIEW REPORT / 21 Mar 2017
Blockchain in the energy industry - from disruption to new business models?
Blockchain technology has the potential to fundamentally change the business world as we now know it. Entire value chains can be revolutionised or even shortened by it – also in the energy industry.
A blockchain has disruptive potential because, among other things, it ultimately makes any middlemen or other intermediaries (banks, financial institutions, utilities, exchanges, distributors, publishers and record companies, among other things) superfluous. Transactions are performed peer-to-peer, as integrity and security are guaranteed by the blockchain.
There are many indications that blockchains will gain a foothold in the energy sector — an efficient decentralised energy world requires appropriate decentralised technologies. Blockchains could represent and execute various business processes and would be an ideal instrument for IoT devices to manage their transactions. Blockchains are also useful as a trust-building element to provide transaction logs to automate proof of origin.
While the technology is still very young for use in the energy sector and its economic benefits are unclear, it provides the opportunity for new or more efficient business models. It also risks entirely new companies entering the market. How are utilities responding to the phenomenon and how can they better prepare themselves for the change?