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SP taps blockchain to power trades for green energy credits

SP Group on Monday launched one of the world’s first blockchain-powered renewable energy certificate (REC) marketplaces.

It also unveiled two REC buyers for this new platform – real estate developer CDL and DBS Bank - and three sellers that are active in the solar energy field - Cleantech Solar Asia, LYS Energy Solutions and Katoen Natie Singapore.

SP's chief digital officer Samuel Tan said this new platform that is backed by the blockchain technology enables companies to trade RECs “conveniently, seamlessly and securely”.

RECs are tradable certificates or proofs of electricity generated by renewable sources. The Business Times first reported two years ago a trade for this non-tangible commodity in Singapore.

While RECs aren’t new to Singapore, many see blockchain as the catalyst for growth in trades of such commodities.

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Blockchain, as an encrypted decentralised ledger technology, provides the means for participating members to read, write and validate transactions simultaneously. Once a transaction is validated, it is instantly captured on ledgers in the network.

Katoen Natie Singapore’s CEO Koen Cardon told The Business Times:  “The blockchain technology helps secure confidential details of the transaction between us and the buyer.  It would also ease the process of finding a match between buyers and sellers of REC credits.”

Katoen Natie is about to embark on a second expansion phase for its solar energy plant in Singapore.  With this expansion, it expects to have excess capacity that will be offered for sale on SP’s REC platform.

Mr Cardon added that the REC marketplace provides a solar energy producer like Katoen Natie an avenue to broaden its revenue stream “because output that is not utilised can be sold to those seeking green energy credits”.

CDL, as a buyer signed up on the platform, considered the application of blockchain as accelerating Singapore’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Noting that buildings consume 40 per cent of energy globally, chief sustainability officer Esther An said that “increasing the use of solar energy and neutralising carbon footprints” is a priority for CDL in building and managing its projects.

SP’s blockchain-backed REC marketplace was launched at the ASEAN Energy Business Forum on Monday.  The event also witnessed the screenshots of the first REC purchases by CDL and DBS.  

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