Port of Rotterdam Trials Decentralized Electricity Trading System

Blocklab, the blockchain subsidiary of Port of Rotterdam, has been trialing a decentralized electricity trading system to help lower costs and optimize the use of renewables on its microgrid.

It has been reported that the system named “Distro,” has been jointly developed by Blocklab and S&P Global Platts and has been operational as a trial for two months.

However, Distro uses blockchain technology, smart contracts, and artificial intelligence (AI) to support the decentralized, high-frequency trading of renewable energy by commercial consumers looking to optimize and manage their energy use, as it matches demand with the intermittent power generated from different sources, specifically solar and battery storage.

The report said that each market participant is allocated an AI energy-trading agent that learns their behavior, choices, and needs and provides them with energy at the optimal price. Buyers and sellers can access localized, dynamic prices for energy, and the system is designed to deter excessive power consumption when the generation is low by offering lower prices when the supply is abundant.


The decentralized renewables trading system was found to improve the use of on-site solar generation by 92% https://t.co/6YaLlhekKo — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) October 6, 2020

Blocklab said that this builds upon “proven practices in commodities and financial market[s],” optimized through AI to automatically balance supply and demand. The trial involved 20 million blockchain-validated, cleared, and settled transactions, which cumulatively lowered the cost for commercial users by 11% and improved local renewables producers’ revenues by 14%.

Likewise, the use of the system increased the consumption of on-site solar generation by 92%, which Blocklab argued can help to combat energy waste. Most ambitious is the claim that Distro could ostensibly help enterprises to deliver a “carbon reduction saving of up to 30 million tonnes.”

Nico van Dooren, the Director of New Business Development and Portfolio at the Port of Rotterdam, said:

“Balancing local electricity needs with local generation holds the key to unlocking significant grid infrastructure savings. We are excited about the prospects of scaling this solution and the meaningful contribution it can make towards helping The Port of Rotterdam become carbon neutral by 2050.”

Also, smart contracts are used in the high-frequency trading system in order to enforce market rules, validate transactions, and manage digital identities.

Thus, Blocklab and S&P Global Platts stated that the immutable, transparent properties of blockchain, combined with provisions for privacy and cryptographic verification, will hold up to industry audit requirements.

Source: Cointelegraph

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