Energy consortium to develop blockchain digital platform
A consortium, including BP and Royal Dutch Shell, plans to develop a blockchain-based digital platform for the trading of energy commodities, with the platform expected to begin late 2018.
The consortium also includes Statoil, Gunvor, Koch Supply & Trading, and Mercuria, as well as banks ABN Amro, ING, and Société Générale.
Blockchain technology relies upon a shared database that will update in real-time, and is also capable of of processing and settling transactions within minutes by using algorithms, without the necessity of third-party verification.
“Ideally, it would help to eliminate any confusion over ownership of a cargo and potentially help to make managing risk more exact if there are accurate timestamps to each part of the trade,” reported Edward Bell, Commodities Analyst at Emirates NBD PJSC.
Although similar projects have not been very successful in the past, Mr Bell is confident that with backing from BP, Shell, and the banks, the platform “may have more success than if it were an independent party trying to convince oil and gas companies to make use of it.”
Mercuria has also publicly advocated the implementation of blockchain technology in order to reduce costs in oil trading.
The new venture is still in need of regulatory approvals, and would run as an independent entity, the companies said in a statement.
“The platform aims to reduce administrative operational risks and costs of physical energy trading, and improve the reliability and efficiency of back-end trading operations,” the statement read.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.