First-time countrywide cooperation among Swiss utility companies in the field of energy and blockchain technology

Zurich, 30 November 2017. Six Swiss utility companies are establishing a countrywide cooperation to avail themselves of the opportunities presented by blockchain technology. As of next year already, the cooperation aims to identify concrete applications in the energy sector and implement them in pilot schemes. The collaboration takes place within the framework of a global network and the Energy Web Foundation.

Blockchain technology opens up new areas of business for the six participating Swiss utility companies (Services Industriels de Lausanne, SIG Services Industriels de Genève, IWB Industrielle Werke Basel, Energie Wasser Bern, IBAarau AG and St.Galler Stadtwerke) by substantially reducing transaction costs in the energy sector while also enabling the active participation of a larger number of market players. The project relies on the Energy Web Foundation’s basic blockchain infrastructure, which is currently being set up. It provides the basis for the development of specific applications tailored to utility companies using smart contracts embedded in the blockchain. By way of example, it thereby becomes possible to easily map the simultaneous production and use of energy stemming from one specific energy source.

Ronny Kaufmann, CEO Swisspower Ltd.
Ronny Kaufmann, CEO Swisspower Ltd.
«Of course, blockchain is currently an object of hype, but it is also the next generation of the Internet. There are around 200 concrete cases that could be applied to the energy sector. Blockchain technology will therefore greatly influence the way in which energy will be produced and distributed in future. Swisspower utility companies are already now looking for innovative solutions to harness this technology for our energy future.»

Blockchain

Blockchain technology can bring about far-reaching changes in the energy sector. It has the potential to optimise processes at nearly all stages of value creation in the energy industry while also making it possible to master the growing complexity of tomorrow’s distributed energy system. Blockchain technology relies on a distributed computing system, in which all transactions are collected and pooled in blocks. This generates a continuously growing chain of data blocks. These unalterable transactions are verified and recorded by the distributed computing network.

Energy Web Foundation

The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is a global non-profit organisation headquartered in Zug (Switzerland), focused on accelerating blockchain technology across the energy sector. To unleash the potential of blockchain technology, EWF has teamed up with partners from the energy sector to identify, document and assess the most promising use cases. To do so, it is setting up the “Energy Web Platform”, providing the necessary functionalities as of 2018. www.energyweb.org