Between Q2 2017 and Q1 2018, energy-focused blockchain start-ups raised $322 million globally, from both venture capitalists and ICOs according to GRM Research’s reports. There are now over 122 blockchain start-ups operating in the space. While this does point to a bubble of sorts, it also strongly suggests that energy companies are taking blockchain, distributed ledger technology, seriously.
Undeniably, the energy sector faces myriad issues ranging from security to climate change and ever-rising fuel costs often passed on to the consumer. The true potential of blockchain technology in the sector lies in transitioning the current ecosystem to a more robust, cost-effective, secure and low-carbon grid.
Here are five energy-focused blockchain start-ups that we think are leading the charge in this space.
UK start-up Electron started its journey as a blockchain-based solution to help UK consumers switch energy suppliers back in 2016. It has since broadened its proposition to support wider energy trading and grid-balancing solutions. In October this year, Electron was awarded a second BEIS grant to further the development of its flexibility platform, in South Korea, along with its local partner GridWiz.
We're pleased to announce we've been awarded a second @beisgovuk #innovation grant to further the development of our flexibility platform, in South Korea, along with our local parter, GridWiz. For more info, please see our website https://t.co/rA2ofocEix #GreenGB #blockchain pic.twitter.com/bD5sYeAWqy
— Electron (@ElectronDLT) October 17, 2018
One of the most hyped launches in the energy blockchain world in 2017, Grid+ raised $29 million during its pre-sale token to develop its blockchain-based solution to cut the middleman out of electricity sales. Since then, Grid+ has developed its offering further, releasing a hardware wallet, Lattice1 for the consumer market.
Irish-based Solo Energy say they’re creating the future, one virtual power plant at a time. Founded in 2017, the start-up deploys and operates distributed energy storage systems, like EV chargers, to store excess renewable energy. Using blockchain, a shared peer-to-peer energy trading economy has been created, letting locals share renewable energy across the grid. With recent high-profile senior hires joining the Solo Energy team this year, these guys are definitely ones to watch in the coming months.
Founded by Abraham Cambridge, a utility-scale solar pioneer from the UK, Sun Exchange aims to let anyone in the world crowdfund solar energy right down to the level of an individual solar cell and lease them to schools and businesses in Africa. Operational for several years now, Sun Exchange has successfully funded a number of projects, and in 2017, raised $1.6 million in seed funding.
What a weekend! Our project with Sacred Heart College jumped up by 13%. We're into the final 5 days | 26% of solar cells left! https://t.co/9g2G6TzNI5
— The Sun Exchange (@TheSunExchange) October 22, 2018
Verv was founded in 2015 to help consumers save money on their energy bills, reduce their carbon footprint and keep their homes safe. On a mission to reduce the environmental impact of energy, Verv has created a peer-to-peer energy trading solution for its home energy assistant that aims to improve access to low carbon energy across the UK.