If you think you’ve seen it all, think again. Grid Singularity, an Austria-based startup, is on its way to redefining the whole energy market with its comprehensive blockchain solution, marking a transition from a traditional to distributional model. Their decentralized platform will provide an easy and secure way to store and transfer energy data without intermediaries.
“I used to work for large companies in the energy sector, including ABB. If you see the obstacles and barriers in the contemporary energy market and understand the potential of the technology, you start to see everything as a nail – and you start to feel like a hammer, because you know you can fix all problems with one solution,” said Ewald Hesse, the CEO of Grid Singularity.
The base layer technology is going to be released in two years. Hesse hopes that it will become a reference application for the whole energy sector – what they are preparing right now is actually a complete market design. “No one talks about the Internet right now, they only talk about apps,” said Hesse. “This core technology will be like the Internet of the distributed energy market.”
How will Grid Singularity work? All data will be recorded in real time on the blockchain, what will make it fully secure and impossible to modify. Once the platform is ready, it will be able to support numerous applications, for example for data analysis and benchmarking, green certificates, smart grid management, investment decision, and energy trade validation. The core product will be invisible for the end users – all that they’ll have to do is download an app that will make their houses single traders in the market.
Grid Singularity was founded in 2016, three years after the research started, by six founders. Ewald Hesse, the CEO, has an extensive experience in the energy sector. Ana Trbovich, in charge of strategy and business development, has previously worked as an advisor for multiple ministers in Eastern Europe; she is also a member of the board of the European Technology Institute. Erwin Smole, the CSO, used to work for an energy regulator and as a managing director at PwC. The other three founders are Gavin Wood, Aeron Buchanan, and Jutta Steiner; their experience from the blockchain-focused Ethereum Project has already proven invaluable.
The team also contributes to the second project – Energy Web Foundation. This research project creates the open source infrastructure capable of acting as the distributed operational system for the energy market. Multiple utilities are interested in cofounding this research, seeing its potential in transforming the energy sector.
Grid Singularity has closed a seed round of $1 million and is currently in the second round. They are already cooperating with multiple utilities and vendors, including Vattenfall, and with a famous IT house that still remains undisclosed.
Even though transforming the energy market is a challenge for a lifetime, Hesse sees the bigger picture. “In the past, we have witnessed three revolutions: a production revolution, then the supply chain, and an information revolution. We are already discussing how this technology will accelerate the social revolution. Currently, you don’t sell your data – someone else does that for you. Once our technology will allow you to sell data peer to peer for a service, all big aggregators and intermediaries will disappear. This will change the society, starting from a very social level, like basic income. After all, the source of basic income is data, ” he explained.