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Chile’s Energy Regulator to Adopt Blockchain

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PV magazine, a publication focused on reporting photovoltaics (solar power generation), has reported that the Chile Energy Regulator is set to adopt blockchain in March 2018. The regulator plans to use blockchain technology to transparently record market prices, marginal costs, fuel prices and compliance documentation. Chile recently surpassed a milestone in which they now have more than 2 GW of solar capacity and the largest solar install base in all of Latin America.

This is the first blockchain project the Chilean government has embarked upon. The motivation for using blockchain is to improve the security of market data. Andrés Romero, executive secretary of the National Energy Commission of Chile, explains:

This technology will allow the regulatory body to improve the security of energy data published on the platform, since in a Blockchain-based distributed database it is almost impossible to alter the information. This will ensure the data has not been modified since its inception, without the consent of those involved in the process.

Another aspect of the project that is important to the regulator is accurate information that can be confidently used when making labor or investment decisions. Romero explains:

Public information is an important input for the decision making of investments and energy projects and many of our users use this information to decide technical, economic and labor aspects. That is why, through the use of this technology, we will raise the levels of trust of our stakeholders, investors and the general public that consumes the data.


The underlying data platform is provided by the Open Energy platform (Energía Abierta). On the Energía Abierta website, its mission is described as:

An internet portal which focuses on reducing information asymmetries, increasing transparency and stimulating public participation, through innovative solutions. Energía Abierta was designed to stimulate the generation of public proposals and the development of new ideas for everyone, so here you can work with, process, cross-reference, compare and freely share.


A similar blockchain project recently launched in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) involving S&P Global Platts, a leading independent provider of information, benchmark prices and analytics for the energy and commodities markets. As part of this solution, market participants are able to submit weekly storage inventory records of oil. One of the benefits cited in the press release was improved efficiencies in how storage is calculated:

The new technology improves the manual and unstructured process by which the terminal operators communicate their weekly inventory numbers to FEDCom (an oversight body). The new solution also alleviates the need for FEDCom to undertake manual validation and aggregation of each terminal operator’s numbers, reducing the scope for human error.

In the UK, a blockchain-based energy marketplace has been developed as a result of a September 2017 UK Energy Entrepreneurs Fund grant awarded to energy tech company Electron. The focus of this particular project is to allow consumers to adjust their consumption patterns, in return consumers can be compensated for a reduction in power usage and create buying opportunities for those who need additional energy.
 

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