Francisco Benedito, CEO, ClimateTrade, Andrew Rippon, Founder, Thrupny and Tanzeed Alam, Managing Director, Earth Matters joined us on today’s Live Weekly Energy Transition Dialogues to share their insights on current market dynamics.

Listen to the podcast for the discussion on Blockchain in Sustainable Transition.

Here are some of Andrew’s further comments in response to the questions posed.

1.Where will blockchain create the most value for tackling climate challenges as a disruptive technology?

Well if we look at just energy we can Four words:

  • Granularity – the ability to track, audit and exchange value such as energy at a micro level of consumptionEXAMPLE: every single solar panel can have a ‘wallet’ or account and micro industry can be viable
  • Automation – simply, get rid of admin securelyEXAMPLE: pay in real time for every watt instead of managing administration of monthly billing
  • Open Source – any organisation can experimentEXAMPLE: European Blockchain Services Infrastructure created it’s first two versions from open source software, the first version was released in six months, based on agreement with 29 countries that is impressive, I may have had something to do with it…
  • New Business Models – mixing the other three words, we can get to automated payments, per consumption models, dynamic adjustment in real time

But these models also work for transportation, building, waste management and other key sustainability goals.

In building for example, we can ally IOT/edge of the network intelligence and blockchain to reduce environmental impact of
 – how can blockchain and associated technologies power new business models that enable the transition to sustainable energy?

  • by providing;
    • trustful automated administration internally and between entities/customers/providers
    • instant payment with tokens (NOT BTC)
    • solid digital identity
    • automated onboarding

 – can the decentralised nature of blockchain and associated technologies such as edge intelligence be leveraged to create a more granular, local model for energy generation and distribution?

  • In short Yes, edge intelligence is one of the enablers of granularity, which means we no longer have to think only of mall delivery of energy but can also think local and micro, which increases resilience

Are there any existing or expected preconditions and barriers which could prevent blockchain from reaching its full potential?

  • Yes – LEGACY – as an example, digital signature has been legal in Europe for over ten years, yet how much paper is still required for public and private sector processes?
  • When you tell me maturity, I say that the original blockchain, Bitcoin, has been in the wild for over ten years so we can call this mature
  • Regulation is required to accept these ledgers as a legal tender

2. A long-running conversation which has had a new injection of life this year has been the value of technology partnerships and reducing silos. Have you witnessed that step change as a result of the pandemic? How would you describe sentiment?

  • Yes for sure, public and private entities are coming together in Europe to deliver technology remotely

3. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said the world must spend $1trn a year for the next three years to have a chance of getting back on track with the energy transition. Against this background, how to counter the impact of Covid-19 on the global economy in order to spur more climate finance towards innovation in 2021?

  • leverage the lessons learned from Covid, we can reduce transportation by working remotely some of the time, we can reduce the need for many infrastructures such as paper based ones

4. Since the sources of innovation are widely-dispersed, supporting research and development in a broad portfolio of complementary fields, and not just energy, “climate-friendly” or ‘environmental’ R&D is important for promoting technological innovation to address climate change. How do you see this being applied on ground?

  •  Open Source – this allows local talent to leverage global talent and create local initiatives, such as local energy ecosystems

5.How crucial are government policies aimed at promoting innovation?

  • Crucial no doubt, but policy is not enough, there needs to be regulation to back the use of the innovations and money that is relatively easy to access at a granular level