Tech

Erik Gibbs

Aussie blockchain-based energy firm to enhance solar distribution in Austria

Australia-based blockchain startup Power Ledger is expanding. The distributed-ledger energy company partnered with Japan’s Sharing Energy this past January and is now getting into Europe. It has reportedly signed a deal with E-NEXT to launch its peer-to-per network in Austria’s second-largest city, Graz. An announcement from Tuesday confirmed the new arrangement, adding that the partnership is designed to optimize energy distribution and to facilitate the city’s plan to move toward zero-carbon energy.

E-NEXT is the innovation branch of Energie Steiermark, one of Austria’s leading energy companies. The new system will see Power Ledger’s technology used in solar energy panels installed on residential properties, which will then be able to sell any excess renewable energy to participating residents. Initially, 10 residents are expected to participate as part of a test before the platform is rolled out to other residences in and around the city. The new platform will keep resident data anonymous, per the rules of the European Union and its strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.

Power Ledger’s co-founder and director, David Martin, explains, “Power Ledger’s technology will help drive the city’s transition towards a zero-carbon energy future, while also giving Graz residents a monetary incentive to use renewable energy. Power Ledger’s partnership with E-NEXT breaks new ground, not just in the transition to a cleaner energy future but also in the way blockchain technology can be integrated into existing legislative regimes through the adoption of innovative business processes.”

In addition to Japan and Austria, Power Ledger has created agreements with companies in other countries, as well. Its system is currently undergoing testing in several locations across Australia, Thailand and the U.S.

Adds E-NEXT Project Manager and Innovation Manager Mathias Schaffer, “Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt a lot of markets—but as an innovation, we also think it offers new business opportunities and the chance to generate added value for our customers.”

Graz most likely wasn’t chosen at random. The city is the only city in the country to be testing Austria’s SMART project, which seeks to reverse several major issues, including carbon emissions. The city is also an established blockchain hub.

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