Utility spending on five blockchain-based platforms is expected to reach $3.7 billion by 2026, said Navigant Research Wednesday in promoting a report on the topic. The report analyzed the market for blockchain-based platforms in the utilities industry and included forecasts for wholesale energy trading, EV charging and integration, and transactive energy platforms through 2026.
Millions of dollars flowed into energy-related blockchain projects in 2016 and 2017, and the adoption of the technology continues to grow, it added. As decentralized energy markets emerge, these opportunities for energy-specific blockchain applications are an important target for industry.
"The expectations for blockchain in the energy sector are sky-high, helped along by hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital investments and initial coin offering (ICO) fundraising," said Navigant Research Analyst Johnathon de Villier in prepared remarks. "However, the technology is still immature and unproven, and utility spending will grow at a much more measured pace."
Future blockchain development in the utility industry depends on external technological factors including the penetration of smart meters and networked charging infrastructure for EVs, the firm said. According to the report, blockchain adoption will not be disruptive until IOT devices and communications technologies are integrated into compatible blockchain networks.
The report was titled, "Utility Blockchain Applications Market Overview," and it gave an overview of the developing market for blockchain-based platforms in the utilities industry, the firm said. The study focused on wholesale energy trading, certificates of origin, EV charging and integration, meter registration and switching, and transactive energy platforms, it added.
Global forecasts of utility spending, segmented by region and use case, extend through 2026, were included. The report described the components of a blockchain architecture and explored the competitive landscape and key challenges that have to be addressed before blockchain can be widely adopted in the energy sector, the firm said.
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