JAPAN’S SECOND BLOCKCHAIN PROJECT FOR SOLAR TRADING

Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Co. has announced a second blockchain project, six months after collaborating with Australian company Power Ledger.

What is Kansai Electric Power?

The Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc. is an electric utility with its operational area in Kansai, Japan. The Kansai region is Japan’s second largest industrial area and is most nuclear-reliant. The company has 164 plants with a total production capacity of 35,760 MW.

The company believes that blockchain has the potential to enable financial transactions between consumers, without involving utilities.

“We have started empirical research on the determination of the price of surplus electricity generated by photovoltaic power, and a new system capable of direct trading,” Kepco said in a release statement.

The Project

Japan’s second-largest electric utility, Kepco, after Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), is carrying out the work, including logging simulated energy transactions on blockchain, at research facilities in Osaka, the company said.

An outline of the research said that the project is expected to end in March next year.

GTM reveals that the project will involve the simulated sale of solar energy to a range of potential takers, with allocation according to an automated trading algorithm. After this the data can be transacted on blockchain at a 30-minute interval.

The University of Tokyo is expected to evaluate the research while Nihon Unisys is building the IT systems for the project. Mitsubishi UFJ Bank is providing blockchain transaction expertise.   

In May, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Akamai Technologies announced their work on  a blockchain platform which will be capable of processing a million transactions per second.  Also, the transactions can be finalized in less than two seconds. According to a statement released by Mitsubishi UFJ, the platform is expected to become a global payment network service from 2019 fiscal year.

Partnership with Power Ledger

The company recently announced collaboration with Australian company, Power Ledger. Power Ledger released a statement saying :

The aim of the partnership is To provide communities with cheaper energy systems to offset existing energy costs and allow generating customers to monetize their renewable energy investments by selling their excess energy peer-to-peer”.  

The project was initially scheduled to allow up to 10 Kepco customer households in Osaka to trade energy over Power Ledger’s blockchain platform.According to Aimie Rigas, Power Ledger’s Marketing Manager, the project “is on track and progressing as scheduled.”

Kepco’s recent interest in the blockchain network has spiked interest of other companies who are also looking to adopt blockchain technology. Tepco, for example has recently invested in two blockchain platform developers- Conjoule and Electron.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corporation, meanwhile, is testing blockchain-based peer-to-peer trading in Seoul. Also, U.S. startup Swytch,  is working with the city of Chuncheon on a blockchain platform for emissions reduction.

Jesse Morris, Chief Commercial Officer at energy blockchain technology developer Energy Web Foundation, said the latest Kepco project was one of many peer-to-peer trading pilots now being carried out around the world.

Panaesha Capital offers new products in the fintech industry such as blockchain platforms.

Blockchain technology has the potential to trigger massive disruptions in different industries. Blockchain has seized the attention of many corporates and we hope to see a bright future.   

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