Today state-owned Thai energy giant PTT announced plans to develop a blockchain-based renewables marketplace in collaboration with Energy Web Foundation (EWF), an energy blockchain nonprofit. The launch of the full PTT Renewables Marketplace Platform is set for May 2020.
The application will be compliant with International REC Standard (I-REC) and will be built on the Energy Web Chain using the open-source toolkits provided by EWF. PTT said it sees strong demand for locally sourced renewable energy certificate (REC) options in Thailand and neighboring countries. In 2018, Thailand generated about 28 million MWh of clean electricity, but only 0.16 million I-RECs (MWh) were issued.
That compares to a global market of 1.2 billion certificates traded in 2018, with the U.S. and Europe accounting for the bulk of it.
“It [blockchain REC platform] will better match the demand with available supply, help corporate buyers to achieve their sustainability goals more easily, create a supplemental revenue stream for already-operating renewable energy assets, and unlock new investment in additional renewable energy throughout the region,” said said Worawat Pitayasiri, senior EVP, Innovation and Digital, PTT Plc.
PTT said it has already completed a test run of the software. Local energy company Global Power Synergy Corporation transferred 431 I-RECs using PTT’s renewables platform. The recipient was 3Degrees, a San Francisco-based trading house representing a Thai client.
“The marketplace we’re co-developing with PTT will help to connect the supply and demand that we know is there, while doing so with the data transparency, reporting credibility, and ease that is so important to emerging EAC markets,” said Jesse Morris, chief commercial officer of EWF.
EWF is one of the major players in blockchain and renewable energy. Three months ago it launched its public permissioned blockchain based on Ethereum technology. It has more than 100 affiliates including big names like Centrica, Duke Energy, Engie, e.on, equinor, GE, PG&E, SB Energy (SoftBank), Shell, Siemens, and of course, PTT.
One of the features PTT talked about was integration with I-RECs registry managed the by Green Certificate Company. In future, the application will allow small solar energy producers to participate in the I-REC market. The company said it is also contemplating a digital platform for power purchase agreements (PPAs).
Blockchain and RECs are a natural fit, so there are numerous initiatives. Singapore’s SP Group was one of the first to launch a blockchain-based REC marketplace. The Nevada Public Utilities Commission started exploring the technology almost a year ago.