Blockchain in Utilities - Thematic Research

Blockchain in Utilities - Thematic Research

Summary

Blockchain and its associated technologies, burst into the public consciousness in 2015 after a relatively slow build-up spanning several years. In the course of 2016 and 2017 blockchain reached “peak snake-oil” with increasingly outlandish claims made about its capabilities and benefits. In the coming two years, followers of blockchain are set to either have their hopes disappointed or their scepticism confirmed.

Blockchain technology, often referred to as “distributed ledger technology” (or DLT) is a means by which the participants in a distributed network can each maintain a copy of an immutable ledger of transactions, and where transactions can be executed without the need for a single, central, coordinating authority.

Utilities are becoming more decentralized, as a result of a growing reliance on distributed generation, storage, and flexibility services by customers and other industry participants. The growth in electric vehicles is also posing a challenge to the centralized model of utilities, as is the rise of small local and municipal energy systems and microgrids. Increasingly, utilities are seeing the potential of blockchain to allow coordination between these many players with conflicting interests, and facilitate the exchange of information and value between them through mechanisms like smart contracts.

Scope

- The report elaborates on the impact of blockchain on utilities.
- It analyses the cost and complexity of implementing blockchain solutions.
- It identifies the current leaders in blockchain technology, and companies which look vulnerable.

Reasons to buy

- The report highlights some of the key players in the blockchain industry.
- It discusses some of the key trends in blockchain technology, also referred to in the report as “distributed ledger technology” (or DLT).
- The report also analyses the blockchain value chain by use case.
- It offers an industry analysis, including DLT and the concept of “trust”, the prospects of commercial blockchains, the fundamental technical challenges, and their primary use cases.
- The report also discusses the impact of blockchain on utilities and offers a technology briefing as to how the technology works and how it has developed over the last decade.


PLAYERS 4
TRENDS 5
Blockchain industry trends 5
Blockchain use case trends 6
Blockchain trends in the utilities industry 7
VALUE CHAIN 9
Asset registries 10
Financial services platforms 11
Industrial platforms 12
INDUSTRY ANALYSIS 13
Background 13
DLT and the concept of “trust” 14
Permissioned DLT networks insert a degree of trust into the equation 14
Commercial blockchains are at least five years away 14
DLT faces several fundamental technical challenges 15
What are the primary use cases for blockchain technology? 15
Logistics 16
Healthcare 16
Land registries 16
Digital fiat currencies 17
Smart grid 17
Commodity trading 18
Mergers and acquisitions 19
Timeline 20
IMPACT OF BLOCKCHAIN ON UTILITIES 22
Utilities case studies 22
Key recommendations for utilities 23
Key recommendations for IT vendors 24
COMPANIES SECTION 25
Public tech and financial services companies 25
Private tech companies 27
Utility companies 29
TECHNOLOGY BRIEFING 30
How has blockchain technology developed over the last decade? 30
How does blockchain work? 31
GLOSSARY 32
APPENDIX: OUR “THEMATIC” RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 35


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