Blockchain Company WePower Announces Plans to Tokenize Estonian Power Grid

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WePower Blockchain energy company has announced plans to deliver a landmark nationwide energy tokenisation pilot project in Estonia in partnership with transmission system operator (TSO) Elering – paving the way for the digital revolution of the energy sector.

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In a press release, Kaspar Karleep, CTO of WePower, said:

“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. Blockchain is the ideal enabler because its foundational principle is trust, which can be leveraged to bring revolutionary transparency to the industry. The project will deepen our understanding of blockchain as a means to share data, paving the way for much needed innovation in the energy industry.”

Nikolaj Martyniuk, CEO of WePower, added:

“The energy and wider infrastructure sectors have been largely untouched by the digital disruption that has transformed so many other industries. Start-ups rarely tackle big infrastructure issues because of the cost and complexity involved, but our approach deploys blockchain as the critical means to change this. Making sector data available on the blockchain enables new innovation with an built-in trust protocol.The successful delivery of our project with Elering shows that we can solve real-world problems at scale.”

The initiative, to convert energy consumption and production data onto the blockchain on a national scale, has been part of a groundbreaking collaboration between the two organisations – with the results proving positive for both energy and blockchain industries.

Estonia provided the ideal infrastructure for this type of testing as the county has 100% smart meter coverage and a data sharing platform called Estfeed. Estfeed enables consumers to download and share their data with any persons or companies whom they choose, as well as anonymous and aggregated data, such as that used for WePower’s pilot.

The pilot project tested the limits of the technology, with WePower’s engineers successfully navigating their way around the challenges of uploading such a large amount of real-world data to the blockchain – proving that it was possible.

Initial results show 26,000 hours and 24TWh of energy consumption data has been successfully uploaded to the blockchain, creating a total of 39 billion Smart Energy Tokens.

Through testing real data, WePower has been able to build a fundamental new data analytics layer for the energy industry.

This new technology layer will allow for both software and hardware innovation that will bring much needed change to the way energy markets operate – especially when it comes to developing models for more effective integration of distributed green energy with the grid, enabling new interactions between different partners and breaking silos between energy market participants.

Taavi Veskimägi, CEO of Elering, the Estonian TSO which operates Estfeed, says: “Future clean and secure energy will depend on innovative solutions and consumer empowerment. However, a major barrier in most countries is lack of access to energy data. Estfeed unlocks data access within Estonia and we are now working towards doing this on an international level. WePower’s proof of concept is important for showing how data access leads to innovation.”

WePower first signed a memorandum of understanding with Elering in October 2017 to convert energy data into blockchain on a national scale. It’s the first WePower research and development project that aims to validate approaches and use cases for WePower’s trading platform – which will enable consumers to purchase green energy directly from producers, with information stored on the blockchain – as well as the wider business.

Although the current platform and its core features can run on the Ethereum blockchain, to achieve WePower’s full vision a number of different blockchains will be tested to find the best fit for large scale infrastructure projects. Experience gained from the project will also be shared to benefit other developers.

In February 2018 WePower completed the largest ever ICO in the energy space (hitting its $40 million hard-cap with 22,933 contributors). This hugely successful ICO was instrumental in giving the complex project with the runway it needed.

The company’s Ethereum-based energy tokens are essentially digital self-settling power purchase contracts, which each represent one kilowatt-hour of power produced. They are tradable and can also be liquidated into the local energy wholesale market. This is achieved by linking digital contracts with power grid data on the blockchain.

WePower received the consumption data from Elering aggregated on the zip code level in order to ensure anonymity of private individuals from a GDPR perspective. The project adhered to the safety and security of supply standards that are obligatory for Transmission and Distribution System Operators.

The results of the pilot offer a huge boost to WePower, with the team now moving forward with greater certainty the impact they can achieve around the world. WePower will launch their Australian operations later this month.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST
2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency
($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company
Blockchain Partners
(Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser
at leading industry event CryptoFinancing (Europe's first ICO event now
branded Tokenomicon)
– Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher,
innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards
of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500
articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and
has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.  Irish Tech News put him in the top
10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of
Blockchain
at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang
at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he
was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School
for Business Automation 4.0 programme. Chevalier (Knight) - Ordre des
Arts et des Technologies at Crypto Chain University and an Advisory
Board Member of International Decentralized Association Of
Cryptocurrency And Blockchain (IDABC) as well as Advisory Board Member
at U.S. Blockchain Association. Over a half a decade experience judging
and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the
European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor
and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain
technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels,
Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki,
London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, San
Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel
Aviv,  Utrecht, Venice,  Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and
Zurich.  His network is global and extensive.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has
ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean
& Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business
Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work
and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and
French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart,
Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to
TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to
marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian
expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the
world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called,
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on
yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently
lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage
daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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