The Port of Rotterdam Authority has said Distro, its new blockchain and AI-enabled energy platform, can help companies in the port area cut emissions and electricity costs by making better use of locally produces electricity and easing pressure on the national grid.
In a statement the Port said it has been testing the platform for several months, and that it is the first time blockchain, AI and high-frequency commodity trading have been combined on a single platform.
The successful trial shows that it is possible to coordinate supply and demand in local markets 48 hours in advance through a platform on the basis of fair prices and transparent trading agreements.
The Distro platform was developed by S&P Global Platts, a division of S&P Global, and Blocklab, a subsidiary of the Port of Rotterdam Authority that specialises in blockchain solutions.
It fits in with the Port’s climate goal of establishing a carbon-neutral port by 2050. Testing demonstrated that the platform works and the coming months will be used to get it ready for commercial use.
A pilot project was conducted in the Innovation Dock, which houses innovative entrepreneurs. The Port, as the owner of the Innovation Dock, used Distro to operate its own ‘micro-market’ of 32 users, as well as a roof full of solar panels and a battery to store the energy produced.
AI predicts the consumption and production patterns of individual electricity consumers, and trades kilowatt hours on the platform on the basis of those forecasts.
The price of electricity fluctuates with changes in supply and demand. Batteries responding to price buy and store excess on-site solar energy that is generated when consumption levels are low, to re-sell it to users when solar generation is low.
The results include a 92% local consumption of renewable energy and a 20% increase in return on investment for the battery.
Additionally, the pilot demonstrated a 14% improvement in revenues for locally produced renewable energy, while lowering average prices for consumers, according to the Port. In addition, trading between the participants means that a ‘micro-market’ places less of a burden on the regular electricity grid.