Aboitiz sees opportunity for blockchain trading in RE

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Aboitiz Power Corporation said it sees the opportunity of blockchain-enabled trading of electricity within communities and end-users if there would be a policy or regulatory framework to support it, especially in freely allowing the development of micro-grids and even the net metering program for renewable energy (RE) to lessen cost hurdles for consumers.

Based on a Manila Bulletin report, AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio said that as an owner of retail electricity suppliers, the company sees blockchain as an opportunity but they can’t easily adapt it.

Rubio added that for such innovation to gain traction in the power sector, regulations about net metering should be managed and rules regarding the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market should be studied further.

Currently, the rules on net metering for RE still have numerous limitations. This is why regulators would have to take pivotal steps if they want for the technology to advance further in the energy sector, including blockchain trading for RE capacities. 

Blockchain trading is one of the innovations that AboitizPower wishes to utilize through recently-launched data science and artificial intelligence (DSAI) sister firm Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI).

The Aboitiz group said that ADI will be able to integrate operating models across its businesses to transform data into businesses outcomes, exploit information to make better decisions, reinvent business models, and develop high value solutions to create new products, services, and processes. 

AboitizPower currently uses DSAI for its new energy trading platform for its power plants to help support its trading operations and enhance data analysis and efficiency. The company’s 300-megawatt (MW) Davao baseload power plant also employs DSAI to cut on emissions.

The firm is also considering the use of DSAI to improve the operations of its other power plants, including the 1,336MW GNPower Dinginin coal-fired power plant in Mariveles, Bataan. 

The implementation of blockchain power trading has been undergoing experimentation in Thailand and Singapore, but has progressed slowly due to limited grid access and the imposition of layers of costs to those that are interested to join in the trading channel. 

However, blockchain technologies are still being pushed into core power markets to become part of energy’s digital future because they are seen to eventually emerge successfully in the electricity marketplace. 

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