Blockchain platform launched to market local wind power

GERMANY: The west German city of Wuppertal's municipal-owned energy company has launched a blockchain-based trading platform, allowing customers to buy certified local wind and other renewables generated electricity.

Wind and solar operators can sell directly to local customers, according to Axpo

The German company sees big potential for the blockchain platform, called Tal.Mark, in selling electricity from projects older than 20 years.

The trading platform could help secure a future for the roughly 5,000 wind turbines that will reach the end of their 20-year support period by 2020, said Stadtwerke Wuppertal.

"The wholesale electricity market earnings they can then expect look unlikely to cover operation and maintenance costs, leading to turbine dismantling — a waste of economic resource," said Stadtwerke CEO Andreas Feicht.

"Our model allows wind turbine and solar operators to sell directly to local end-customers and achieve earnings that cover costs," he added. The current legal framework allows such trading.

Additionally, the portal allows investors to build up a group of local customers large enough to encourage construction of new wind or solar farms outside the Renewable Energy Act auction support system, according to the company.

The blockchain platform was developed and is operated for Stadtwerke Wuppertal by Swiss energy trader Axpo.