XRP Ledger Foundation, Ripple, and Energy Web Announce World’s First Decarbonized Blockchain
Rocky Mountain Institute-backed Energy Web launches EW Zero, provides technology solution applicable to all blockchains
San Francisco, Calif. and Zug, Switzerland — 30 September 2020 — Today XRP Ledger Foundation, Ripple, and Energy Web announced the decarbonization of the XRP Ledger. This marks the first ever widespread decarbonization of a public blockchain, addressing a significant environmental challenge for blockchain technologies around the world.
The pioneering innovation has been achieved using technology from Energy Web, the nonprofit energy tech company co-founded by Rocky Mountain Institute. This initial deployment uses energy attribute certificates (EACs) from renewable energy assets to decarbonize the blockchain’s electricity use. Energy Web’s open-source application, called EW Zero, enables individuals, businesses, or in this case an entire blockchain ecosystem to transition to verified zero-carbon electricity.
Blockchain technologies have historically faced considerable challenges decarbonizing their energy use due to the naturally distributed nature of blockchain communities and computational processing power. Technology giants such as Amazon and Google, whose processing largely takes place in directly owned and controlled data centers, are able to contract clean energy with relative ease and precision. Blockchains face a dilemma since both energy use and decision-making is largely decentralized. No single individual or organization is in a position to make energy purchasing decisions for an entire blockchain.
The top five energy-consuming blockchains currently use up to 170 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year — more than the state of New York. With corporate and government interest in real-world blockchain solutions on the rise, legitimate concerns regarding the associated carbon emissions have been growing. This announcement demonstrates a path towards zero-carbon operation for all blockchains.
With the XRP Ledger as a starting point, Energy Web, XRP Ledger Foundation, and Ripple are calling on other blockchain communities to join the move to being powered by zero-carbon electricity. Energy Web has already followed suit, decarbonizing one year’s worth of electricity use for the Energy Web Chain with renewable energy EACs.
“While the XRP Ledger is already one of the greenest blockchains in the world, we are taking one step further to be the first blockchain that is fully decarbonized thanks to our partnership with Energy Web Foundation,” said Bharath Chari at XRP Ledger Foundation.
“We’re proud to partner with Energy Web on an initiative with such a positive upside for climate action and clean energy, not just as co-developer of the technological solution, but also as one of its first adopters,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. “Energy Web and its ecosystem of more than 100 major energy companies globally to make ‘green blockchains’ the new de facto standard for the distributed ledger industry will play a key role in building a sustainable future for all.”
To decarbonize the XRP Ledger, EW Zero was used in partnership with 3Degrees, a long-time Energy Web member and specialist in renewable energy, transportation decarbonization, and other climate solutions. Renewables were sourced from the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Philippines to decarbonize the XRP Ledger for a period of one year.
“We’ve reached a major turning point for the blockchain industry. With this announcement we’re turning the ‘blockchains use too much energy’ issue completely on its head by converting entire blockchain networks into direct investors in zero-carbon renewables,” explained Walter Kok, CEO of Energy Web. “As the world economy transitions to low-carbon energy, we now have in sight the possibility that every transaction, every smart contract, running on any blockchain network worldwide, could be powered 100% by affordable, verified renewable energy with zero emissions.”
This first EW Zero transaction was completed in fiat. Next, Energy Web plans to enable transactions on EW Zero to take place in the native currency of the blockchain being decarbonized and for anyone in a given blockchain ecosystem to individually purchase renewables for their chain, whether they are a developer, a miner, an end-user, or another ecosystem member.
Energy Web co-founder Rocky Mountain Institute was a key advisor on development of EW Zero and this first transaction. “Global finance has a vital role to play on the path to achieving a zero-net emissions energy future,” said Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute. “Blockchain and digital assets are truly innovative technologies that will fundamentally reshape the future of finance. Ripple is taking the lead to ensure fintech is part of the effort to build a sustainable world that is not only transformative for banks and consumers, but also beneficial for the planet.”
To learn more, please visit the Energy Web Zero website.
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 our open-source, decentralized, digital technology stack — the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS) — to enable any device, owned by any customer, to participate in any energy market.
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.
Peter Bronski, Energy Web
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