Energy News

Energy Web pilots blockchain REC trading marketplace in Central America

solar panel wind renewables

Yesterday, the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) announced it completed the initial development of an international renewable energy certificate (I-REC) trading marketplace in Central America. Salvadorian energy retailer Mercados Eléctricos worked with the EWF to build and pilot the blockchain trading platform. 

EWF has more than a hundred high profile affiliates and its platform is used by the likes of Duke Energy, Equinor, Siemens and Total.

In May, Mercados Eléctricos (MERELEC) joined as a validator node for the EW Chain, the public blockchain created by EWF. MERELEC has a significant presence in El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, and some other Central American countries. The company has commercialized almost 2,000 GW through its projects.  

MERELEC worked with Energy Web to build the I-REC trading platform and onboarded 20 renewable energy devices in El Salvador for a pilot. In the near future, about 200 devices in El Salvador with a total capacity of 1.3 GW will be added to the platform. These energy devices could be small-scale solar panels, hydro systems, as well as more significant hydropower, geothermal, and biogas electricity generators. 

“We expect that this platform will ultimately help us grow our renewable energy business and help our customers obtain the most profitable and resilient economic prospects for their renewable systems by selling renewables directly to buyers in a lower-cost, more-efficient way,” said Carlos Chávez, Director of Projects & Investments at MERELEC.

The duo is now seeking corporate renewable energy buyers to test and provide feedback for the platform. 

The I-REC trading platform was built using the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System, which includes the Energy Web Chain and EW Origin, the software development kit for issuance, tracking, and trading of energy attribute certificates. The goal here is to meet the proof-of-impact needs of buyers by providing them accurate information on I-RECs. 

I-REC is the international energy attribute certificate (EAC) standard widely used in Latin America. I-REC represents one megawatt-hour of electricity generated from renewable sources. 

In Central America, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama are authorized to issue I-RECs. EWF is helping MERELEC to get approval for El Salvador as a sanctioned I-REC issuance country. 

“The progress to-date shows great promise about the viability of using this platform to scale our business and expand renewables across Central America, starting in El Salvador,” added Chávez.

Other EWF projects 

Energy Web Foundation is a non-profit working on integrating blockchain solutions in the electricity market. Last year, Thai energy giant PTT said it was developing a REC marketplace in collaboration with EWF. 

Earlier this year, Germany’s Sonnen Group said it was using Energy Web Chain and EW Origin for building a virtual power plant in the country. 

Vodafone has a partnership with EWF to integrate distributed energy resources (DERs) into the central grid using blockchain and IoT.