Blockchain a Savior for Stretched Computers at Energy Trader

Blockchain a Savior for Stretched Computers at Energy Trader

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Vattenfall AB, already one of Europe’s biggest energy traders, plans to expand further and needs blockchain technology to do some of the heavy lifting in its computer systems.

The Swedish utility is feeling the strain from processing as many as 8,000 deals a day in continental Europe. That number is expected to multiply several times in the next few years as the company seeks to profit from the unprecedented shift toward a greener and more decentralized market.

By using the digital ledger for the more mundane paperwork, resources would be freed up to pave the way for more trading with everyone from large renewable producers and factories to retailers and even households, said Kilian Leykam, head of business development at Vattenfall’s trading unit in Hamburg.

“We will be able to deal with more trades with smaller volumes of each trade,” he said. “And with smaller transactions sizes you are able to target volumes that otherwise would have been neglected.”

His company is not the only energy company pursuing a technology that could disrupt industries from banking and payments to cyber security. Together with more than 20 other European utilities, Vattenfall is participating in two different blockchain trials where they share ledgers for confirmation, settlement and invoicing for power and gas.

The systems are planned to go live later this year, but the technologies still needs to prove they can handle large volumes before being fully rolled out in three to five years, Leykam said.

“Blockchain-based trading platforms could take over most functions that connects buyers and sellers of energy,” said Ingar Beck Landet, a senior consultant at THEMA Consulting Group in Oslo. That includes bilateral market platforms, spotmarkets and energy companies that sells the electricity to the end user, he said.

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