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How blockchain can address Austria’s energy crisis




Climate change has become one of the biggest global challenges for humanity. At the same time, the dependence on hydrocarbon energy sources such as coal, oil and natural gas is still strong.

Supply lines around these energy sources are further vulnerable to geopolitical tensions. Due to the current sanctions against Russia, experts now expect rising electricity prices and negative effects on the energy market in Europe, reports CoinTelegraph.

The Austrian government understands the urgent need for the energy transition and has set the ambitious goal of being climate neutral by 2040. Alternative solutions to fossil energy have been slow to emerge and, for the most part, are not yet efficient enough on a large scale. But there are promising approaches — especially in the form of decentralised renewable energies or blockchain technology in peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading.

There are already pilot projects in Austria dealing with P2P trading on the energy market. At the forefront are blockchain scale-up Riddle&Code and Austria’s largest energy provider Wien Energie, which founded a joint venture in 2020 called Riddle&Code Energy Solutions, with Kai Siefert as head of the joint venture. Cointelegraph auf Deutsch spoke extensively to Siefert on how the energy crisis tackled with the help of blockchain.

Wien Energie and Riddle&Code have been working together for a long time. Back in 2017, the companies launched the first project called Peer2Peer in Quartier where they tokenised photovoltaic solar systems so that consumers can participate in energy production.

Later, at the end of 2018, when Siefert was still Wien Energie’s IT strategist, his team developed a blockchain strategy together with Astrid Schober, head of IT at Wien Energie, and focused on the topic of energy tokenization with security tokens and utility tokens.

This resulted in the MyPower platform. First, Wien Energy and Riddle&Code tested the decentralised trading of self-generated solar power via blockchain in a smart city project with 100 participants. Everything went smoothly, and in 2021, a tokenization platform for photovoltaic plants was launched. Riddle&Code tokenised the largest solar plant in Austria and gained 1,000 customers who, as part of its advertising campaign, bought energy vouchers issued by Wien Energie in the form of tokens, which could be used to pay electricity bills.

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