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Event Horizon 2019

Event Horizon is one of the most famous events around the blockchain technology and its applications within the Energy & Utilities sector. Every year, companies from around the world send their innovation experts to attend it, as this summit is a unique occasion to follow the trends and breakthroughs in this complex and fast-paced technological area. Event Horizon is organized by the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), an organization whose goal is to facilitate the mutual understanding between industry experts and blockchain researchers and innovators.

Elia Group is among the most supportive members of Energy Web Foundation. Indeed, at Elia Group we believe that we need to understand this advanced technology in order to maximize the benefits we can bring to the community when using it, on relevant areas of our activities. During the Event Horizon, our CEO, Chris Peeters, took part in a panel discussion about demand-response technology, during which several issues faced by the Energy sector were addressed, such as the technological and regulatory questions.

One of our key beliefs with this regard is that communities can rely on some of the very particular aspects of the blockchain technology to build systems which truly place the consumer at the center. This is the message me and my colleague Kris Laermans had the opportunity to promote, at our booth and also on the event’s main stage. We believe that the systems we are building for the future should enable the energy transition, by being invisible to the end-user, and scalable. Indeed, as I summarize it in my pitch (link available below), the paradigm shift will require to switch from a system where a few central production units are steered in function of the demand, to a system where thousands of households have to follow the intermittent, variable production of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

In 2018, Elia Group has built a proof of concept in order to demonstrate how blockchain could facilitate the access to the Balancing Market for end consumers. The objective of this project was twofold: on the one hand, we wanted to test how blockchain works, and the best way to assess a technology is to use it and, on the other hand, the theoretical features of blockchain matched with issues which the current processes could face in the energy transition.

The videos of Elia’s participants can be found on Youtube:

  • Chris Peeters – (link) Panel discussion on Demand-side Flexibility
  • Kris Laermans – (link) Panel discussion on specific features of blockchain
  • Nathan Lemaire – (link) Pitch about the Elia Blockchain proof on concept

During the event, Kris and I had the opportunity to meet with many industry and blockchain experts from various companies with which Elia Group already works in the day-to-day operations. It was thrilling to feel the enthusiasm and creativity emanating from every participant. It was a great occasion to share ideas about the blockchain technology and its applications in our ever-changing sector, and a great opportunity to promote our belief that the energy transition can only be achieved by putting the consumer at the center.

As process owner for the Customer Relation department of Elia, I have participated to several information sharing & promotional events, but I have to say that the quality of the organization of Event Horizon is outstanding. Congratulations to EWF and the staff. My colleagues and I will be happy to participate to the 2020 edition.

Link to the conference: here.

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