In February 2017, we held our first Enerchain workshop in Berlin. Back then, a group of forward-thinking representatives of European utilities met in Berlin to form their vision of Blockchain applications in energy trading. That first workshop is now eight months in the past – a lot has happened in such short time. Blockchain development seems to run at higher speeds than regular business. Here is an update, see also the latest press release from Sept 29th.
Expectations in Berlin were high and wide-ranging: lower transaction cost, P2P integration directly between market participants, reduced entry barriers for smaller market participants, a seamless process including not only trade execution but instantaneous settlement of transactions as well. Given these diverse goals, holding a critical mass of participants together seemed a challenge of a higher order.
Now in October 2017 we have not only achieved the critical mass for the next phase, the consortium has grown substantially: 33 of the largest and most innovative European utilities and oil majors have joined Enerchain so far. Together, we are striving to establish the first distributed marketplace for OTC trading of wholesale energy products. And the movement is still growing: more and more energy traders are coming on board. today, on September 29th, Enerchain opens its PoC environment for trading of physically settled power and gas with a range of standard delivery periods. At the same time, Enerchain functionality and interoperability is extended for
- connecting 3rd party trading front-end systems to the blockchain back-end,
- integrating Enerchain with standard energy trading and risk management (ETRM) systems.
- testing new products and processes, and
- further 3rd party post-deal services that will be connected in the future.
This is in line with the vision of Enerchain as the operating system for wholesale energy trading, where multiple vendors can plug in their apps and services. No single vendor should have the power to control this stack of applications, or force others into entering commercial agreements by withholding access to a proprietary API. In this context, Blockchain technology can act as a self-commitment device: a commitment to openness and to acting in the interest of the trading community as a whole.
On EMART 2017 / European Utilities Week in Amsterdam the first real P2P trades over the blockchain was shown to the public. Last year’s live trade was executed on a blockchain demonstrator running just on Michael's laptop, but this time, market participants’ trading desks are directly connected with each other via the Enerchain blockchain-based software, we showed two live trades:
- The first trades was executed between Wien Energie als the initiator and Neas as the aggressor. It was a day-ahead gas trade with delivery to the NCG hub on October 5th.
- The second trade was executed between ENEL as the initiator and E.ON as the aggressor. It was a day-ahead trade for power, delivered to the Hungarian zone MAVIR.
More than 100 participants witnessed the trades. Another highlight right after these two trades was a video of the PONTON company band "Peak Load" that presented a blockchain song! The PONTON team is proud of having organised this live trading session in the EMART Energy HUB as the next great step for Enerchain.