British blockchain company Electron has won funding from the UK government for an energy trading platform in South Korea.

Electron will use the grant from the Department of Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills for a project it is carrying out with South Korean technology firm GridWiz to research, design and test energy flexibility products for the South Korean electricity market.

The work will build upon Electron’s existing flexibility trading platform, which has also won government backing plus the support from a consortium of 12 leading energy players including EDF Energy, Flexitricity and Northern Powergrid. Last month, EDF Energy and UK Power Reserve completed the first transfer of a capacity market obligation using a trading platform underpinned by blockchain.

The Korean project also involves Imperial College London, which will provide assessments on future scenarios relating to the system-wide benefits of the large-scale rollout of distributed energy. It will also assess the potential of the system value and business case of alternative flexibility technologies.

Electron chief executive Paul Massara said: “We are excited about this opportunity to bring our flexibility trading platform to the South Korean market. The South Korean electricity markets are decarbonizing and decentralizing, and now is the time to start building the next generation of smart infrastructure.

“This platform could facilitate better integration of assets and uptake of energy flexibility, to creating a cheaper, greener electricity system for all. GridWiz are a leader in smart grid networks, and we look forward to a successful partnership with them going forward”.

JuneWoo Ryu, vice-president of GridWiz, said a driver behind the project was the Korean government’s target to increase the share of renewables from the current 7 per cent to 20 per cent by 2030. “Understanding the likely impact of this shift, our project with Electron will show the insight and possibility to bring flexibility in the energy system through blockchain technology.

“The GridWiz team will bring existing local flexibility market expertise and provide access to our own DER assets during the product development phase. A lot of stakeholders in the Korean energy sector already have shown interest in participating in our project.”

Goran Strbac, Professor of Energy Systems at Imperial College London, said new advanced blockchain concepts would support “the paradigm shift towards a decentralized electricity market in the context of future development of South Korea electricity system”.

“The Imperial team will assess system-wide benefits of the large-scale rollout of Electron’s flexibility trading platform in the context of future smart grid concepts led by GridWiz, covering both local and national level objectives in future electricity system in South Korea by 2030.”

The project is intended to run until 2020 and is planned to conclude with a series of real-world transactions. 

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Electron’s chief operating officer Jo-Jo Hubbard (pictured) will be speaking at European Utility Week in Vienna next month, where the development of blockchain in the energy sector will be a hotly-debated topic. Also speaking will be Goran Strbac of Imperial College London. Click here for details.

Read our in-depth interview with Jo-Jo Hubbard here.