Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) has invested in a UK-based blockchain
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) said today that it closed an early-stage bridging round investment in the company at the end of last year in a bid to better understand the technology’s potential in power market applications.
UK-based Electron is building switching and flexibility platforms using blockchain technology and believes it can make the energy system more efficient by removing middlemen from transactions.
Working with TEPCO, the company will explore the potential to change existing centralised structures to decentralised systems in energy transactions by using blockchain.
Shin-ichiro Kengaku, managing executive officer and chief of Global Innovation & Investments at TEPCO, said the firm was “excited to work with Electron to explore and obtain additional know-how on blockchain that has the potential to significantly impact the energy market. We believe it is very important to continuously seek new opportunities and create new value for society”.
As the Japanese electricity market continues to deregulate, the investment in Electron is a further example of Tepco’s appetite to investigate emerging technologies that could play a role in the new market landscape.
TEPCO has had a long-standing interest in blockchain systems, particularly after the destruction of its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. TEPCO revealed last year, that it had partnered with Grid+, an ethereum startup that is developing a platform to allow for consumers to pre-pay for power.
Last year Electron received £640,000 in government funding to scale its flexibility platform and has since been building out both its products and teams.
Electron CEO Paul Ellis said the firm was delighted to partner “with an energy industry leader for innovation in Japan.”Adding, “In the next phase of energy transformation, millions of new assets will be joining energy networks at both the transmission and distribution levels.
“There is a huge need to create a robust shared infrastructure that can identify and record the properties of these assets – this can be underpinned by appropriate blockchain technologies.”