Foton and Energy Web launch blockchain-based I-REC marketplace in Turkey

Energy Web
Energy Web
Published in
5 min readJul 23, 2020

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Efe Kurnaz | Unsplash

Zug, Switzerland and Istanbul, Turkey — 23 July 2020 — Today Foton, an energy-transition startup company, and Energy Web (EW) jointly announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind commercial pilot for renewable energy trading in Turkey. Foton’s digital, blockchain-based platform for tracking and trading international renewable energy certificates (I-RECs) aligns with The International REC Standard, the energy attribute certificate (EAC) standard in more than 30 countries across the globe.

Turkey does not yet have a nationally mandated tracking system for EACs. I-REC trading in voluntary markets, which have been functioning in Turkey since 2015, addresses this gap. Foton became Turkey’s official I-REC issuer this month, in advance of an expected regulated market for EACs in Turkey in the future. (Foton and The International REC Standard are both Energy Web Members.)

“The I-REC Standard Foundation started its work in 2015 in Turkey and is pleased to bring it to the next phase of development. Turkey was one of the first countries to receive an I-REC after the start of the Foundation in 2015,” said executive director Jared Braslawsky.

After seven months of development, Foton and EW rolled out the first version of the Turkish I-REC platform in April 2020. The renewable energy trading platform already integrates with the open Energy Exchange Istanbul (EXIST) platform in order to securely access accurate power generation data. EXIST is responsible for managing and operating Turkey’s energy markets, including ensuring transparent, reliable, and trustable market conditions as well as equal access for all market participants. Next, a pilot will take place beginning August 2020, where several large renewable energy providers will use Foton’s platform to register I-REC assets like solar and wind farms and sell I-RECs directly to buyers.

Foton’s renewable energy marketplace is built using the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS), a blockchain-plus suite of middleware, toolkits, and other digital solutions that include the foundational Energy Web Chain as well as EW Origin, a group of SDKs that support existing and emerging renewable energy and carbon markets. Various grid and market operators around the world are also using EW-DOS (including the EW Chain and EW Origin) for digital EAC marketplaces, including PTT in Thailand and wider ASEAN, Mercados Eléctricos in Central America, and PJM-EIS in the U.S.

“In some cases — such as in the U.S. and the EU — we’re seeing blockchain-based solutions offer major enhancements to long-standing EAC markets,” explained Jesse Morris, chief commercial officer for Energy Web. “This project with Foton is so exciting because we get to see the regulated compliance market, the voluntary market, and the digital solution all co-evolve together in a country. That’s pretty rare and could yield important lessons for other regions of the world with new, emerging, or even not-yet-existing EAC markets.”

This I-REC marketplace comes at an important moment for Turkey. The Turkish energy market went through liberalization starting in 2001. Since then, Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR) and Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) have accelerated the privatization of the energy market. MENR and EMRA’s collective efforts have attracted private investors and spurred the addition of 34 GW of new renewables capacity to the grid, of which 7 GW comes from distributed energy resources (DERs).

This privatization has also changed the way energy is procured in Turkey. There are now more than 100 energy providers competing in the Turkish market to deliver reliable and sustainable energy to their respective customers.

Turkey’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) also helped grow renewable energy capacity significantly, but the FIT mechanism is expiring later this year. This leaves renewable energy developers seeking new sources of income like from sales of I-RECs, which companies purchase on a voluntary basis to prove the impact of and verify progress toward their renewable energy and climate goals.

The Foton renewable energy marketplace will allow renewable energy power plants to register with The I-REC Standard and request I-RECs online. Moreover, these power plants will be able to directly offer their I-RECs on the trading platform for both energy providers that would want to sell them to their customers and to corporations that may want to source I-RECs directly. The history of I-REC transactions occurring on Foton’s platform will be logged and maintained on the Energy Web Chain to provide streamlined traceability for reporting-related needs.

“Foton’s mission is to accelerate the energy transition on the consumer side. We are a proud member of Energy Web and believe strongly that digital technologies will help energy transition accelerate. As Turkey’s local I-REC issuer, Foton works actively to register DERs; being a marketplace operator, Foton enables corporate consumers to reach transparent bids and offers,” said Can Arslan, co-founder of Foton. “We are excited that our project is launching at this time, when both a national tracking system and voluntary I-REC market can be tracked on the same blockchain platform, which enables easier and safer double-counting controls.”

The pilot has true potential to unlock a groundbreaking achievement for Turkey’s renewable energy markets: an integrated digital platform that solves market pain points while supporting growth in the country’s parallel voluntary and compliance markets — in part through the use of public blockchain technology.

About Energy Web
Energy Web is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system by unleashing the potential of blockchain and decentralized technologies. EW focuses on technology integration and development, co-creating standards and architectures, speeding adoption, and building community.

In mid-2019, EW launched the Energy Web Chain, the world’s first enterprise-grade, public, open-source blockchain platform tailored to the sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs. The EW Chain anchors a broader technology stack known as the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS), a blockchain-plus suite of middleware, toolkits, and other digital solutions to support the energy transition.

EW also fostered the world’s largest energy blockchain ecosystem, comprising utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers, IoT / telecom leaders, and others. More than two-dozen of those companies host validator nodes for the EW Chain. Energy Web has become the industry’s leading energy blockchain partner and most-respected voice of authority on energy blockchain.

For more, please visit https://energyweb.org.

About Foton
Foton is a Turkish energy innovation company founded in 2019 in Energy Exchange Istanbul’s Innovation Center. Foton is accelerating the energy transition in Turkey by developing a local digital renewable energy procurement marketplace. The Foton team has extensive experience in energy trading and origination. Foton is an Energy Web Member.

For more information, visit foton.energy.

Contacts
Peter Bronski, Energy Web
+1.201.575.5545 | peter.bronski@energyweb.org

Can Arslan, Foton
can.arslan@foton.energy

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Energy Web
Energy Web

EW is a global, member-driven nonprofit accelerating a low-carbon electricity system through open-source, decentralized, digital technologies.