Former Npower CEO Paul Massara has joined blockchain energy start-up Electron as a director.
The firm, backed by Innovate UK as well as private funding, is building a demand-side response platform as well as a switching system for meter supply points that it believes could make the switching process 20 times faster.
Electron’s focus is on enabling the energy system to operate on a peer to peer basis wherever possible. The firm believes that blockchain, a system of validating and recording direct transactions between peers, could transform the energy system from one that revolves around a central intermediary, to a fully decentralised model.
In terms of demand-side response, blockchain could, in theory, deliver a trading platform that enables flexibility to be traded collaboratively without handing the levers of power to any single entity, i.e, National Grid. Electron believes that could enable a more liquid, transparent and competitive market.
However, while the energy system is already decentralising in terms of generation, moving to a blockchain model would represent a seismic structural shift, given the critical role the system operator currently performs.
Nevertheless, Electron is trying to prove that model could work and recently told The Energyst it will have “fully scaled prototypes” in market by next summer. CEO Paul Ellis said the fact that Massara has joined the board is “testament to the growing recognition within the energy industry of the opportunity afforded by blockchains to speed innovation and cut costs”.”
The former Npower boss, who now heads up North Star Solar, believes he has backed the right horse.
“I am really excited about joining the board and investing in Electron,” said Massara. “It is clear that blockchain will disrupt many markets, including energy, and having scanned the market, it was clear that Electron will be a major player.”