Rotterdam trials new energy platform

The Port of Rotterdam has completed a trial of Distro, a new energy platform, which is the first in the world to combine blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and high-frequency commodity trading in 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. The new initiative helps companies in the port to reduce energy costs by making better use of locally produced electricity and by smoothing peaks in demand on the electricity grid. All this fits in with the climate goal of establishing a carbon-neutral port by 2050. Testing this summer demonstrated that the platform works and the coming months will be used to get it ready for commercial use.

James Rilett, innovation director at S&P Global Platts, commented: “At the distribution level, too, the electricity market has to become a mature market in which transparency will lead to better prices and the more effective use of infrastructure. The design of the platform is based on Platts experience of more than 100 years of providing price transparency to global commodity markets.”

Nico van Dooren, director new business & portfolio management at the Port of Rotterdam Authority, added: “This pilot project is good for everyone: not only are energy prices fairer and more transparent, the costs of sustainable energy are reduced for clients. This is a solution that will help to achieve the goal of a carbon-neutral port.”

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