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Last week, the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) announced it had officially signed more than 100 affiliates in an effort to become the world’s largest blockchain ecosystem.
In addition to developing the enabling core blockchain technology, EWF has assembled the energy-blockchain ecosystem, which is comprised of diverse energy companies, utilities, grid operators, renewable generators, software developers, commercial end-use customers, and startups.
Several major players have joined the Energy Web ecosystem as EWF Affiliates to reach this milestone, including German utility EnBW, French multinational energy company Total, and State Grid EV Service Co., a subsidiary of the State Grid Corporation of China, the world’s largest utility.
Formed in early 2017, EWF’s Affiliate ecosystem has grown rapidly, surging from 37 Affiliates in February 2018 to more than 100 today. As blockchain technology matures and as the energy sector takes an increasingly serious look at blockchain opportunities across a range of use cases, Affiliates play a number of crucial roles:
- informing functional requirements and key features;
- hosting validator nodes for the decentralized network;
- developing applications that run on the core tech layer; and
- serving as a massive and influential cohort of early adopters that can help blockchain bridge from nascent technology ‘spot tested’ in numerous promising pilot projects to full-scale, enterprise-grade, commercial deployments.
“EWF is accelerating the transition toward a cleaner, more-resilient, and more cost-effective energy system,” said chief commercial officer Jesse Morris. “As the forces of digitalization and decentralization continue to drive a massive global energy transition, the Energy Web Chain — which will launch its genesis block later this year — presents an enormous opportunity for market participants of all shapes and sizes to take advantage of a novel solution to the challenges they face. Our growing community of Affiliates will be hugely central to seizing that opportunity, and their increasing numbers are a testament to how seriously the sector is now taking this powerful technology that just months ago was viewed with a dose of skepticism.”
This latest milestone for EWF comes on the heels of several other major announcements, including a landmark collaboration with between EWF and PJM-EIS announced in fall 2018 and the recently announced collaboration between Affiliates Iberdrola and FlexiDAO, who together are building a solution that runs on the Energy Web.
“At EnBW, we have been investigating the use of distributed ledger technologies in the energy industry for several years and are working on various use cases,” said Christian Sander, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies lead for EnBW.
“In our opinion, the emergence of open ecosystems — like that of EWF — that make actors directly able to interact with each other offers high potential for change in the market. As an EWF Affiliate, we look forward to an exciting exchange and to working on new use cases together.”