Shell invests blockchain-based energy platform

Shell Ventures and Sumitomo Corporation have invested in US-based LO3 Energy to further develop blockchain-based community energy platform, allowing distributed renewable energy resources (DERs) into local energy networks.

Shell and Sumitomo follow investments from Braemar Energy Ventures, Centrica, and Siemens, and will allow the company to scale-up the platform, and roll-out microgrids, giving distributed, decentralised and decarbonised local energy transactions and provide demand response energy management building-by-building.

Kirk Coburn, investment director Shell Ventures said: “As we move into a less carbonised future, Shell aims to invest in innovative companies that will help enable the energy transition. LO3 Energy fits right in that space.”

LO3 Energy’s transactive energy platform was pioneered with the Brooklyn Microgrid and the company now runs projects with partners around the world, in the UK, Colombia, Japan, Australia and the US. Users set preferences on a dedicated mobile app, choosing how and when to use the local energy resources available to them and allowing them to select the specific sources they purchase it from. The energy flows through the normal grid transmission network, but the private, permissioned blockchain manages the definition of the energy source and the contract agreement to pay for it.

The platform thus enables a wide range of business use cases, including peer-to-peer energy trading, energy hedging for businesses, virtual power plants, dynamic electric vehicle charging and demand response.

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