Blockchain architectures are emerging technologies that can offer a decentralized, secure, and low friction alternative to traditional mechanisms for interactions between nodes participating in a network. At the heart of the blockchain architecture is the blockchain itself, a distributed ledger that stores all exchanges of information or value between network participants. While blockchain originated in the financial sector as a mechanism to support the exchange of digital currencies, the underlying technology has many applications outside of finance—like healthcare, law, and energy.
However, the energy industry’s requirements for a blockchain architecture differ significantly from those of the financial sector and the technologies are still nascent. Energy-specific blockchain use cases must emphasize operational efficiency over complete decentralization and disintermediation, which requires blockchain architectures to be designed accordingly.
A new report from Navigant Research, Utility Blockchain Applications Market Overview, analyzes the market for blockchain-based platforms in the utilities industry, providing forecasts for wholesale energy trading, EV charging and integration, and transactive energy platforms through 2026.
More than half of the current energy-related blockchain projects were launched in 2016 and 2017, when hundreds of millions of dollars of investment poured into new projects, and the adoption of the technology continues to grow. According to Navigant Research, total utility spending on blockchain-based platforms is expected to reach $3.7 billion by 2026.
Future blockchain development in the utility industry depends on external technological factors, including the penetration of smart meters and networked charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. According to the report, blockchain adoption will not be disruptive until Internet of Things devices and communications technologies are integrated into compatible blockchain networks.
Source: Navigant Research