Blockchain has become one of the most disruptive forms of technology and, because it can be used in all areas of the economy, we are seeing blockchain projects emerging across all sectors.
In terms of utilities, Endesa has launched a pioneering initiative in Europe – the Confía project – which uses this new communication system to allow applications for electricity discounts for those at risk of falling into poverty to be processed as quickly as possible.
To implement this technology solution, the energy company has chosen Ayesa, the leading technology consulting firm, which, together with Izertis, is developing an online portal and application programming interface (API) for the project, and, in terms of blockchain technology, is working on smart contracts, as well as configuring and rolling out nodes.
Ayesa has more than three decades of experience in implementing and developing IT systems for utilities companies all over the world, as well as social services, whilst Izertis has extensive expertise on this emerging technology and will bring its Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform to the project.
This technology project, which will be implemented in Malaga within six months as part of a pilot project, was presented today at Alastria’s Technical Committee, an association which promotes the digital economy through the development of decentralised record-keeping technology in Spain, and whose members include major companies and technology firms, such as Ayesa and Izertis.
‘Blockchain technology is shaking up society in a good way by allowing knowledge to be shared in real time by the various organisations which play a role in our lives, meaning better services for the public’, notes Pilar Galindo, Head of Utilities at Ayesa.
‘At Izertis, we are passionate about creating solutions to problems faced by society which are often overlooked, through real solutions based on digital transformation. This is about much more than just improving the efficiency of our work – it’s about identifying those at risk of losing such a basic necessity as is electricity’, explains Urko Larrañaga, the Blockchain Lead at Izertis Spain.
How the System Works
Endesa’s goal is to implement this initial pilot project in the capital of the Costa del Sol after signing an agreement with Malaga City Hall, however the ultimate goal is to roll it out across Spain.
The use of blockchain will mean real-time snapshots of the process will be available, and make the way applications are handled by the various bodies involved much more efficient, allowing for a more streamlined system and the immediate flow of information.
As such, local authorities will have access to real-time information, including information on customers who have been sent a warning that their electricity will be cut off due to them having failed to pay their bill. Social services will immediately check this information against their own database and contact Endesa to quickly ascertain if the customer in question is eligible to receive a discount on their electricity bill, these criteria being established by law.
A blockchain is a distributed ledger, meaning that the database is maintained and held by all nodes in the network, allowing information to be encrypted and making it more secure than a traditional database. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data involved whilst ensuring transparency and traceability, in addition to fully complying with data protection laws and the right to be forgotten. In the case of this project, it will allow for a distributed ledger to be created, which other local authorities and regional administrations may join in the future.