TAGenergy insutry

Energy Business and Blockchain #2 Financing in the era of infrastructure democratization
In my previous article, I reviewed the trend of deregulation and liberalization of the utility sector and explained that transactions that used to be self-contained internally are now being externalized, that customers’ DERs (Distributed Energy Resources) are being utilized for grid management upon increase in variable renewable energy such as solar PV and wind, and that platforms are being developed to realize the new concept of peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading. In this article, I will discuss how blockchain technology and ICO (Initial Coin Offering) can be utilized for democratization of energy infrastructure. Still halfway on democratization of infrastructure Power generation plants, positioned on the upstream of energy infrastructure, used to be large scale, centralized, and built by state-run corporations or corporations with large capital. However, building power generation plants has become much less difficult because of cost reduction of solar PV and wind power technology in the past decade. A small-scale plant can be built on the rooftop of a house, unused land, or in a factory. Energy is being decentralized, and a foundation is being built for the democratization of infrastructure.   In Japan, solar PV has been booming since 2012, the year feed-in-tariff (FIT) started until around 2015. “Mega solar, ” megawatt-class (1MW=1,000kW, a 1MW plant can power approx. 200 houses) solar PV plants have been built all over Japan mainly for investment purpose. Solar PV plants of this scale require capital of 100s million yen (millions US dollars), and only corporations that have capitals in addition to capabilities of land procurement and development can built mega solar PV plants.   Under the current policy, owners of generation plants receive sales of energy that is funded by “renewable energy generation promotion levy” paid by organizations and households on top of electricity charges. If a owner of generation plants…