Sebastian Copeland, polar researcher and climate campaigner, speaking at EventHorizon 2018
EventHorizon, which styles itself as the ‘Global Summit on Blockchain Technology in the Energy Sector’ is the only annual event centred on Blockchain solutions for a future based solely on renewable resources. It is a platform for the development of a game-changing customer focused, fair energy future. The event brings together the Who’s Who of both the traditional energy and innovative Blockchain sectors.
The 2018 motto, "Flip the switch & turn on the power of tomorrow. Today!”, calls for a paradigm change, and took attendees on an exhilarating journey into the future of the industry. After a successful premiere in Vienna last year, more than 750 participants from 50 countries travelled to Berlin for its second edition in a reconfigured power station from Soviet-era Berlin.
Over 40 international top speakers and 40 start-ups presented their business models, innovative solutions and projects in keynotes, panel sessions, investor talks, corporate and startup pitches. This was a showcase of how governments, corporates, utility companies and innovative startups are coming together to radically change the industry and through that change how the world accesses energy, and also answer some key climate change issues.
Energy sector needs exponential change
Sebastian Copeland, polar researcher and climate campaigner, started the first day with his inspiring keynote by underlining the need for change in the energy sector. Christoph Frei, Secretary General World Energy Council, built upon that thought and emphasized, how busy energy experts are with Blockchain technology saying that “Blockchain is the number one topic that keeps 3000 energy experts from 91 countries awake at night. This technology is the key to exploiting the full potential of decentralized power supply.”
Chile opens energy data on Blockchain platform
Chile has become one of the first countries to use Blockchain technology for the energy sector. Kiumarz Goharriz Chahin, of the National Energy Commission of Chile, extolled the advantages of their initiative: “Blockchain technology is helping to increase trustworthiness in the Chilean energy sector by connecting the existing open data platform to a Blockchain network. This enables traceability, security and integrity of data. All of these will help to increase transparency and reduce information asymmetries.”
Blockchain Energy Startup Pitches
On day two, Julian Hosp, Co-Founder and President TenX, encouraged EventHorizon participants to use Blockchain technology to find innovative solutions to real world problems outside of the bitcoin hype. This demand was more than amply met by the 40 leading startups from all over the world who gave often compelling pitches for their solution. These included pioneers such as Slock.it, Electron, PowerLedgerand Riddle&Code.
Parallel to the pitches were deep dive sessions into the different challenges of implementing Blockchain technology. The second day ended with the investor talks, where Jamie Burke and others showed how investment strategies will be impacted by new technologies like Blockchain. Ramona Liberoff also highlighted the need for a paradigm shift in business models in the energy sector.
Bringing about change with Blockchains
Open discussions continued till the final day with question and answer sessions in the Tech Talks and the Security Panel. Ewald Hesse, Vice President Energy Web Foundation, emphasized the importance of energy singularity in this context. The Energy Access Panel also showed the importance of Blockchain in developing and emerging countries. The last panel, consisting of climate ambassadors such as Sebastian Copeland, Tom Dindiwood, Josh Fox and Paul Fox, discussed the thorny challenge of how change can be brought about.
Ed Hesse, initiator of EventHorizon summed up the event signified succinctly, stating: "The success of EventHorizon underlines how important Blockchain technology is for the future of the energy industry. We are all the more pleased that we were able to win such a top-class line-up of speakers, start-ups and participants for the event.”
Technology and sustainability pioneering
As exciting as the Blockchain technology being discussed at the event is, it is still largely theoretical, so the organisers didn’t just rely on the innovation being spoken about to engage the audience. In addition to the impressive setting of a cavernous old fossil fuel power station, there were many engaging, interactive, and at times spectacular, aspects to the event. Just as Blockchain itself is doing in the energy field, EventHorizon has established itself as a pioneer for both international technology and sustainability conferences.