The head of a Philippine electricity generator and distributor says that blockchain-enabled trading of electricity can thrive in the country, so long as the right regulatory environment exists.  

Emmanuel Rubio, president and CEO of Aboitiz Power, told the Manila Bulletin blockchain offered an opportunity in the electricity market, particularly in unleashing the potential of micro-grids and the country’s net-metering system for renewable energy. But he said regulators needed to clarify critical issues associated with such issues as net metering and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.

Under the net-metering system, the Philippines’ Energy Regulatory Commission allows customers to install solar panels within their premises and sell excess electricity generated back to utility companies, lowering their electricity bills as part of a system of decentralized generation.

Decentralized systems such as micro-grids  are considered prime candidates for blockchain development, potentially revolutionizing how energy is traded.

Rubio said, however, that rules governing net metering for renewable energy remained restrictive, and that regulators would have to act decisively if they wanted to drive innovation, including in the trading of renewable power via blockchain.

“We’ve been looking into this [blockchain] actually, we don’t see this as a disruption, but we see it as an opportunity being an owner of RES [retail electricity supplier] that look into these markets … the platform is quite available and we can do that quite easily,” he said.

In a related development, a private sector-led initiative named the Crypto Climate Accord, comprising nearly 40 companies and organizations across the world from the crypto, finance, technology, NGO and energy sectors, was launched last month to push for renewable energy and greener digital assets.