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welcome to chain link research reports in this video im discussing the future of sustainable energy in the developing world and the role of blockchain in that future with dr paul koff and ola coonley alau two amazing sustainable energy researchers who study how we can use blockchain technology smart contracts and decentralized oracle networks to create a better future dr koff is an assistant professor in the school of electrical and electronic engineering at university college dublin in dublin ireland and is also a member of the energy institute there his research is on the optimization and analysis of electrical energy systems with a focus on how emerging technologies such as smart contracts and decentralized oracle networks can contribute to energy optimization although lao is a phd student in dr koffs lab and his research focuses on applications of blockchain technology for maintaining and providing funding for sustainable energy projects and now heres dr paul koff and ola coonley allow good afternoon gentlemen i hope youre well its really great seeing you here again and im looking forward to discussing blockchain energy and some of the work that youre doing in this space because both of you are very important uh pioneers in this space so the first question i had was you know could you could you just tell me or tell the audience a little bit more about your background uh you know where both of you are from and what your educational background is sure i guess ill dive in first so yeah awesome to be doing this jason um so im here from a messy office in university college dublin on the bellfield campus where ive spent a large chunk of my life i did my undergraduate degree here it was a be in electrical engineering then i progressed to doing a phd in electrical engineering predictably enough with professor andrew keane here then a post-talk look at the distribution systems in ucd and then i eventually got a faculty position so i dont have that cosmic font and exciting academic cv that one is meant to have uh but over that period um you know starting out really looking at the nuts and bolts the voltage amps of connecting wind farms to the national grid so that would have been around 2010 a lot of wind in ireland was getting connected at that time so look at a managing act of power reactive power really technical issues about how you bring them online um but in more recent years ive tried to broaden that out to look at the much wider context of you know how we get lots of good renewable energy projects into the grid um and so over the last five or six years ive been seeing different industries doing different things with blockchain and im just trying to start asking questions you know how might that impact the energy energy space the electricity space and trying to ask questions that goes a bit beyond just this kind of idea or metaphor you always hear of that its tokenized energy or that its peer to peer energy and theres interesting things that can be said about that concept but i felt a few years ago that there was all kinds of other things happening in electricity financial arrangements ownership arrangements hedging arrangements that arent quite just that peer-to-peer tokenized energy kind of paradigm i saw gaps and so i was lucky enough to win some funding for a project funded by sustainable energy authority of ireland uh you know to basically try and fill those gaps to see how can things like blockchain drive value for for people who are trying to build renewable energy um and so i have three phd students working on those those projects with me and one of them is ola kunda and as a supervisor im very lucky because theres nothing nothing better than having three great phd students to to start filling in these gaps in some of my hand wavy type ideas and how did you meet uh conlang that was a case of advertising a phd and at the time i think i had about about 50 applicants 55 applicants quite a lot of applicants for three slots and whittled down whittled it down and olicon they cv was fairly near to the top from the beginning and uh i can say with retrospect that was absolutely the right call awesome thanks um uh conlang could you tell us a little bit about yourself as well yep thanks jason um just just like paul um my background is in electrical engineering my first degree was in electrical engineering my masters also was in electrical engineering focusing on on power systems but within the time i was completing my masters um i started this position working on private sector development and particularly in the generations of tech and generation sub sector looking at how um private private power plants particularly renewable electricity generators can come online looking at the the risk like mitigation instruments that can support the debunkability of this project and fortunately i got the opportunity i i saw the advert for the phd projects they were like three teams research teams im looking at um on pspa trading prediction marketplace using um leveraging louisiana crowd um enabled by like a blockchain marketplace and the final um research team was on smart contract hedging instruments which was very much interesting for me because i i was a bit familiar with traditional arrangements and i felt like i could get good value and explain how blockchains might improve traditional arrangements so thats really how i got into this project and its been a very interesting ride so far so how in general how did did both of you enter the blockchain space couldnt you kind of gave us a little bit of background about that uh paul what is it about blockchain and smart contracts that kind of pique your interest and you know allow you to make this connection between a particular blockchain and uh and energy uses the usage i think its uh you know its obviously an emerging field and both of you are leaders in this field but its you know for me at least you know being a political scientist and a policy scholar its hard for me to imagine how you made that connection uh id be really interested in hearing about that well so i guess my story is as predictable and basic as you could imagine it was the time of the original ethereum launch that the first dow the dao the decentralized autonomous organization um and was just seeing im trying to think where our party would have seen the first post about that maybe it was off a blog maybe marginal revolution or somewhere like that and tyler cowans excellent blog and just i said hey you know im a tech guy heres a a weird new thing right so at that point i hadnt heard of ethereum i dont think anyone had really you know it wasnt wasnt mainstream right this was 2016 i guess late 2016. and so just sort of not put it on my radar to say what what on earth is this this science fiction bazaar out there you know most of us are still trying to get our heads around bitcoin all right you know the idea of digital money is already weird right right lets just be honest right cryptography magic making these tokens that somehow value and then you say ethereum taking that to the next level saying were going to have these smart contracts these kind of robots that are out there that not only are are digitally handling these tokens but you know they can be autonomous in some way so its just an idea that is its so provocative its so strange its so outrageous you know i know i know a lot of time has passed since 2016 and theres been ups and downs and critiques and everything else um but it thats what i put on my radar and say hey okay so heres some new way of managing human affairs of mediating trust between people who dont maybe trust each other um and it just struck me right im an electrical engineer a meet and spots volts and amps guy right thats my background im not a finance guy i dont know much about business but just from that being in the background um its maybe its boring but you know theres quite heavily regulated marketplaces around how people generate and sell power and like in the states you had your enron scandal whatever it was 15 years ago 20 years ago um so youve got huge money involved youve got these different players who are generating power were buying power thats happening in and out of these pool market places its happening at a particular defined tempo so thats sort of a a substrate right the voltage amps the actual megawatt flows are happening in a way thats somehow managed or modulated by that regulatory environment and im seeing wow theres a lot of money flowing around up there you know theres markets that are clearing every hour people make a lot of money or lose a lot of money and you go okay these smart contracts these decentralized autonomous organizations you know have some kind of promise that you can do finance in some kind of different way so i start to think okay you know where are the gaps that you can fill there um and you know look its its six years later and ive got fabulous phd students that have worked with some good postdocs i still dont think i have any kind of definitive answer to this um and i i try and hang on to that little bit of i dont know the romance or the like i say how crazy a new and strange provocative idea smart contract is ill just say one more thing on it um like i cant make any predictions right if you ask me in 20 years time you know our smart contract is going to be part of the day-to-day operation of the financing and renewable energy projects i dont know right im not going to get the finger out and make a prediction what i always say though is if you look at things like the the east india company going back to the 17th century this trading concern based out of london took over half the world most the indian subcontinent was effectively enslaved by the east india company became this immense historical power and that was one of the first joint stock corporations right this idea that we could have shareholders and somehow a corporation that has a legal personality separate to the shareholders you know that was an idea that was invented and then that seems boring or legalistic but because a joint stock corporation is a new way to manage human affairs risk wealth it had this outsized historical impact so maybe i hope not rewriting history but reading those early ideas about the the original dao you know the launch of ethereum you go is that in the same category as as like inventing a joint stock corporation you know is potentially that going to be as world disruptive as the east india company even if theres a one percent chance it is or a 0.1 chance it is you know thats still a reasonable chance of a crazy disruption so it was just trying to say is there anything in that model that maps over into energy so seeing all the big money flows here seeing the scope for disruption here and just ever since then ive been trying to draw together and join the dots yeah thats really interesting uh i find the analogy between the joint stock company and blockchain particularly interesting i mean would you say that from your perspective that the technology itself and everything that comes out of it like dowse and smart contracts and uh all these kinds of new technologies for like you said managing human affairs um would you liken that to you know the the joint stock company i mean would you say that that is the technology that if you were to make a comparison you know this is this is this would be the the comparison it would be as revolutionary as this i mean you did mention this just now but like or or is there something else maybe that you believe you know blockchain its not a comparison jason you know i wouldnt im hesitant to say comparison right like its not the same right okay look indulge me in another little side here um ever since the bitcoin white paper came everyone has been looking for the right metaphor okay everyones be trying to say this blockchain thing what is it like like what is it a modern version of is it a modern digital version of a currency kind of but also kind of not like is it an asset class is it a store of value is it a way to mediate trust using smart contracts and it feels that if you look back over the last 12 years theres been different waves of people trying to grow towards a metaphor like the appropriate metaphor for saying what blockchain is you might disagree with me jason i feel that there is yes no consensus like there is no theres no agreement on what blockchain is a metaphor for or you know the latest incarnation of its its own thing its its own strange new technology that has its own strange characteristics to do with how trust is centralized or decentralized so im not saying its a modern incarnation of a joint stock corporation im saying that a joint stock corporation was a legal innovation that allowed risk and wealth to be allocated in a new way so so i think in we probably all agree that blockchain does something a bit like that you know in a very different way to a joint stock corporation but its certainly a new way to look at risk exposure ability to extract wealth ability to distribute wealth so its some kind of innovation thats somewhere in that general category and im just saying theres a lot of historical precedent that what seems like small or boring or technical or legalistic changes in that category can actually produce these huge downstream effects and i think i i still cant say what the downstream effects of that are in the blockchain space im not sure i believe that anyone can but im just saying while thats still an open question i want to come in with an open mind and try and think about how that can impact into electricity marketplaces and energy marketplaces more broadly yeah i think i think i would like um to add that support from from a different angle maybe focusing more on the on the project so what has been very interesting for me um in this project is the fact that if you look at the electricity sector like particularly in the area of like decapitation and renewable energy development um in the last few years i would say most of the innovations have been on the fiscal um on the fiscal in the physical layer looking at um reducing the uh development cost or the complaint cost of of solar power or wind wind wind power um but there hasnt been enough focus on like financial and legal innovations and part of the things that i had about blockchain while i started projects was from a speaker at the conference in africa talking about how to um accelerate minimum development in frontier markets and what was very interesting was the fact that theres i mean the efficiencies in the fiscal year i would say have been squeezed out and there isnt much scope to a little bit there compared to like the financial um layer where i feel blockchain is um like a very good um like like innovation for i feel like um blockchain can create like operational efficiencies in as were talking about the distribution of welds the um interaction between parties in like in an otherwise uh centralized organization with blockchain youll be able to remove powers from um like the big of the homeworks and decentralize this power to smaller parties and another thing is um interactions between between parties i would say counterparty risk is very expensive and the way things are done at the moment means that all this um risk in one word order is transferred to the end consumers or if we can remove um such such frictions with blockchains then some of these risks can be minimized and the values from this risk hedging can be transferred to the end user talking with respect to uh electricity generation so this will be transferred to consumers in the form of low electricity costs which is very important for for example engineering space where were talking about different carbonization and diversifying um electricity generation away from like fossil fuel lighting the energy security challenges group and that was one of my motivation im still part of the things driving my research today i know that a lot of uh youre both of you know your work is very focused on renewable energy financing for uh using blockchain uh and you know one thing that i i ive been ive been thinking about for a while doing some uh research on creative energy uh using blockchain and renewable energy financing reading some of your work is you know uh i wonder if theres any way in which or you know if you think theres a way in which uh the renewable energy financing itself with blockchain can be kind of or will be integrated into the into web 3 the web 3 infrastructure thats being discussed so if you have any thoughts about on that id be really interested in hearing them yeah um so so look ola colonels work sort of started out looking at like how to hedge the risk exposure of someone whos selling renewable energy so lets say i build a wind farm or solar farm you know im selling that into a marketplace every day the price of which is fluctuating up and down um im also exposed to is it going to be windy or is it going to be sunny so ive got a kind of volume component to my risk exposure and a price risk exposure so that creates a lot of risk and that can freak out traditional bankers you know who dont want to back a project unless they can see rock solid week in week out the revenue so thats kind of where myself and can i start talking about this and thinking about this to say what kind of financial instruments can you use to to try and hedge off some of that risk you can come up with a contract for difference that says you know im selling into the marketplace someone else is buying out of the pool market and so so if the pool price goes up its its a good day for me a bad day for him and vice versa so you can kind of hedge that off if you do that hedging off thats a bit like its a bit like selling selling your electricity to that person the counterparty and that in that contract for difference so so then you start to think okay so are we democratizing you know is it a hedging instrument or were a way to pre-sell electrical power and in a certain sense theyre kind of the same and then you say well okay if someone is going to be able to buy you know on a blockchain you know a future hour power output or the future revenue of a certain wind farm you know thats thats like fractional ownership maybe in that wind farm you know or you can conceptualize it in that way and so you know we havent quite pushed it to that level but you can you can easily see then okay well fractional ownership in a certain wind farm you know does that is that a non-fundable token is that somehow metaphorically links to you own that particular wind turbine or that particular solar cell um so so theres been a sort of movement in that web three direction you know over the last few years working with all the gun lights i hope you agree with me holy cow on this uh you know it feels like its been moving in that direction or kind of getting caught up in that current youre on mute theyre alright it was like another interesting question that jason asked but i wasnt it was like give a very good answer to because i mean its not something i could really um explored for um ive looked a bit up looked a bit on it um the internet of things and and and web tree and i feel both areas will complement each other so for the um special peoples vehicle where were talking about um integrating hardware oracles smart meters um connecting with the blockchain and things like that that its in a way thats already in that direction of an interconnected system and i feel like on one hand like um blockchain would improve like the trust around systems like that i mean the website compared to the yp um i mean the main difference is the trust and security component that blockchain is introducing so i feel um one blockchain can improve the security and trust um with all the systems that are existences were already connected um then on the other hand um um blocks can also leverage these already interconnected systems uh where like people are already like used to communicating on those systems once they see like the benefits of um blockchain and theyll easily be willing to adopt um pre-systems so i i think overall like the web tree and what were going to be working on are all connected and would eventually like work hand-in-hand to improve mobility um in the overall network i think thats how i see kids i know that both of you also work a lot on or at least you have one paper that ive seen on on using blockchain to help deliver electricity to the developing world and to help fund projects sustainable energy projects in the developing world particularly sub-saharan africa i was wondering if you talk if you could talk a little bit more about the work that youre doing on the developing world and how you think blockchain uh might actually help deliver energy and perhaps financial resources to uh build energy or to create energy in the uh developing world particularly sub-saharan africa if you like or or other other parts of the developing world uh well i could while i got on my thoughts i dont know if you can see just say something yeah i mean this question is for both of you so i mean if either of you have any thoughts about that id be very interested in hearing them so look essentially you know like i said theres been this this trajectory myself and conor worked together about three years at this point a little bit less and you know like say start with these fairly narrow pieces around you know hedging and kind of inspired you know were working here in ucd in ireland you know inspired by the operation the irish electricity market that im most familiar with and kind of gradually building out to say okay you know is this a case of im just financially hedging my risk exposure how does that become like im pre-selling energy how does that become im pre-selling ownership so all the things kind of come together in this nexus right that you know its financing and its forward selling and its hedging its all sort of the same thing and you suddenly go okay well when youre writing a smart contract you know like like what i said earlier you know what what is the appropriate metaphor or label i mean a smart contract handles wealth according to algorithmic rules so you set your rules and we can decide is that ownership or financing or hedging and maybe its all three and so its kind of coming out of that mindset um of saying okay maybe theres a financing piece to this and and often you know you would hope the the killer application for blockchain is in lower trust environments or you know when for some institutional reason theres actually a you know theres a theres a hill that really should have solar cells on it you know the hill is in the right place and the sun shines and you know it is physically in engineering terms a good investment you know a proper opportunity but to say well is there an institutional or you know is there a factor with banking or something thats going to stop people providing the funds to physically procure the hardware do the capital works and and build that get it connected to the grid and so all the company kind of you know we wrote that up framing and saying maybe those in you know those institutional barriers may be more acute in in developing economies and you know whether the banking system might have as good access to capital there could be issues with the legal system in terms of how fast-moving it is and so i think thats kind of just we were trying to make this point of saying financing and pre-selling and hedging they can all be sort of packaged together into the same offering in terms of a smart contract and maybe you can make a strong argument for that in countries that should have a lot of renewable energy but sort of dont and to say is there an institutional gap there that we can plug i mean does that align with the way you do it outlook online um okay so ill speak for amanda angle also just to also buttress your point um so for me the project started as um its funded by the projects funded by the irish government and in a way um how aposoids at the start was um developing blockchain financial instruments that would accelerate um renewable electricity in mainly ireland and say the rest of europe but as the project progressed um i saw like other opportunities um i would like pressing on problems that blockchains could address particularly in the african electricity markets so its its a bit personal for me because um ive worked in the african power sector for about three four years now and um in terms of default risk um which is um i would say default or counterparty credit risk which is uh the possibility of a party um which is um for instance if youre a buyer then the counterparty seller um defaulting on like payments agreements i think ive mixed ive mixed that up a bit but essentially um africa has a low default risk compared to the rest of europe but its still very hard for um banks to finance african power projects because of why they say these products have a high cost of capital and this high cost of capital in a way mirrors default risk so if a country has a high default risk then it would in turn have a high cost of capital but this for me didnt like make much sense so i still i just went back and looked at how my research could address this and one very important area was the aspect of decentralizing access to finance so instead of having these big banks that could say i mean they are taking on all the credit risk when they finance projects and continents why dont we open up finance to different um potential investors with different um um abilities to invest in projects in terms of like accountable money they can contribute and their risk appetites why dont you just open it up and allow different people to be able to do their own country due diligence first we are decentralizing this risk instead of concentrating it to these three banks which means that um because the cost of capital automatically becomes lower and the exposures are becoming lower so we are lowering lowering interest rates which means the people that would eventually benefit from these fiscal connections would have would have would pave like low prices and also the people that are investing in this project um they wouldnt have had access to um such investment opportunities but because of um the distributed nature of blockchains they can contribute into these projects so essentially were just removing the powers from these big banks and giving it to to the people both from the demand side and the supply side and we potentially believe that this would be beneficial for both the decentralized investors and the people that will be um using the the power that we generated from these projects yeah that makes a lot of sense so i mean though just to sum up but both of you are saying its um the in the developing world blockchain can be particularly useful for um you know to fund renewable energy projects because it allows the uh kind of distribution of risk and it allows investment in places where banks and other more traditional institutions might be more hesitant to invest in because of this risk so yeah that makes a lot of sense but if only the risk is not as as high as people might imagine because again as i said the default risk from projects at the end of the day because of most of these projects even traditionally they are usually built with lots of like risk mitigation products and packages so youd realize that the risk hedging instruments are very strict and firm and the default risk is really automatically low but its just the bias from destruction our financials so once you can open up this access to anyone from anywhere in the world then everyone has a choice on investing in this project or not so id like to um to ask another question but its more about you know barriers that you might believe would prevent the kind of work that youre doing from being you know realized in a broader sense so you know do you foresee any kind of problems both either in the developing world or in the kind of you know the more you know quote unquote developed world as it is um do you see any any unique barriers to being able to fund renewable energy projects with blockchain to really you know ensure that your kind of work becomes uh more widespread um and you know how might those barriers maybe be be uh overcome if that makes sense sure so even jason before talking about the barriers i i might reiterate what we find encouraging right about the space um you know on an intuitive level very hand wavy but electricity is is the most the most fungal commodity okay a megawatt hour of electrical energy is a megawatt hour of electrical energy okay so so were dealing with a very fungal commodity and its traded in nearly all countries in a very centralized way according to a regular schedule with clearly defined rules and a great deal of transparency so if were trying to come up with some some sort of clever smart contract thats going to mesh in with that theres a sort of metronome theres a tempo that we know were meshing in with okay its not like trying to put seafood on the blockchain you know where every trawler in the world is gonna be hauling out you know different fish i mean that to me is is a much bigger oracle problem i know chain link is all about oracle problems right i feel that the the surface that you need to arcalize in electricity markets is much much smaller so so thats encouraging right um how do you unlock it though right and i mean if im thinking of the peer review weve got in some of our papers you know theres always this question just saying okay so so you hold the token which gives you fractional ownership in a particular project so you so youre due some revenues that you can claim out of a smart contract well you know we all know that how do the revenues get into the smart contract okay i mean this is this is always the issue right that you know once somethings happening in a smart contract ecosystem everythings very defined how that ecosystem connects with the real world is the hard problem right whether in terms of data or in terms of you know ability to actually move funds so for me its only my opinion i think one of the big unlockers is is when the regulator or the market operator in a country sees the value in blockchain so like i say its its a heavily regulated industry and typically we trust the market operator okay so its not its not actually a low trust environment but if everyone is selling into a centralized market that means all the generators are you know metaphorically getting a check every month from from that market operator whos settling it for everyone the clearinghouse if if such a market operator could see the value in in unlocking you know ecosystem effects right allowing the ability for smart contracts to to mesh in together right this this sort of lego for money kind of idea they could say okay were gonna credibly commit that you know that particular wind farm that someone has built on a hill that they are compelled by law like all generators to sell their power into the marketplace and we as the government-controlled market operator credibly commit give them all their revenues to a public smart publicly known smart contract address so it means then that theres kind of the hold you call it the piping of revenue into that smart contract has never been unlocked because we trust that market operator im speaking a little bit metaphorically there but i i think you kind of see that the vision im putting together so its something that kind of motivates me in my work you know im an academic i very strongly believe that research should be all about pushing the boundaries i dont like incremental or kind of boring type research so for the work with olokunda its about creating a vision you know really trying to push 10 20 years out and saying what could this look like what might the benefits be you know we we in one paper we looked at sub-saharan africa thats because zola conley happens to be an expert in the the regulated power industry in sub-saharan africa but thats the fundamental reason that we focus on that but its about creating this vision im an academic im not saying its a good or a bad idea for a market operator to pay revenues in that way well maybe i could say its a good or bad idea but im more interested in saying if somebody did that if what what infrastructure could come downstream what you know that smart contract thats receiving these revenues every week what logic might you like to put in that smart contract is it a hedging logic is it a you know do we tokenize access that revenue stream you know theres lots of logics you might put in there and for me academic research is just about trying to throw out those ideas and flesh them out and see what might be good or what might be bad so that to me is the big barrier to date your question is what are the barriers that are going to stop us if the revenue isnt naturally on the blockchain its a little bit harder to build that infrastructure if the revenue is on the blockchain you can do clever cool things and because there is only one revenue source its actually an industry thats right for disruption its really ripe for disruption if a country wanted to do it yeah um i dont believe these are like the final questions so let me just like see my talks here so ill speak about two things first is um what sectors of or sub sectors um blockchains will like likely disrupt or have more right for disruption and the second thing ill talk about is the challenges of of implementation now and in the future so respect to disruption um if you look at christian markets um theres a financial and physical layer and for me i believe i mean in literature um several like online publications people have talked about how blockchains might disrupt the physical layer but like peer-to-peer energy trading and also um flexibility of ancillary services so as larry services are kind of services that are not core in the um in the supply of electricity bots are very important in just enhancing like the security um of supply of supply electricity consumers and looking at all those fiscal years that are currently managed by um managed by like public utilities in most countries um at the moment i wouldnt say blockchain starting from those like some sectors would be quite wise and i mean many of the which are things ive done using like um centralized database are quite efficient but where i really see blockchains disrupting is like again ive talked about the financial layer um that is uh operating in parallel to the fiscal year and has less disruption to the current existing structure so again financial instruments um butte financial instrument built on the blockchain where uh market participants are trading in parallel to whats going on in the fiscal year is where this value would mostly come about and again it would receive um the less pushbacks from governments because at the moment um regulatory clarity our regulatory uncertainties are one of the major impediments um to blockchain adoption mainstream in the electricity sector we just completed um a conference paper where we created like a taxonomy for describing this recent challenges and we we just believe that if um as paul said once the government the state can see the value of blockchain not necessarily in the areas where theyre operating but in similar areas or similar sub sectors then when they see the value they can support because i mean blockchain doesnt blockchain operates centrally and no one owns um for instance like the bitcoin network for this blockchains to actually gain traction did they need regulatory support because if you look at countries like china and nigeria for instance where uh blockchains are not like really legal theyve been banned even if for instance in china youd find um people still using vpns to access like blockchain networks but one way or the other the liquidity would be reduced because of but um potential expanse would behind that from accessing this network so if there could be like regulatory supports and clarity on how blockchains would work then adoption will increase if you also look at um with respect to the structure that we proposed there are different regulatory gaps because for instance um if um traditional banks or investors or the renewable energy projects have certain like legal responsibilities they need to pay tax but on the blockchain network um who who pays what tax um for instance for this project youd have lets say 20 people um to have 20 owners from lets say 20 different countries um how does tax goes to like who owns the tax structure like who collects attacks um theres many unanswered questions and regulatory supports from governments i think would be very important for this technology to move forward and also just one one other point um respect to and ecosystem effects theres a lot issue um around interoperability uh at the moment like many companies are having their own like blockchains using different concerns those mechanisms having different processes for this ecosystem to be able to get a real value real value in terms of of liquidity and the ecosystem effect where for instance like a smart contract that mobilizes finance for um okay thats a smart contract that pays out dividends for investors of a project is connected to under smart contracts that collects uh monies to invest in another project those kind of interoperability would improve um the liquidity of the network and also the adoption and thats where like the real value um would be accurate thank you so uh thank you very much i i have uh just one more question and this kind of involves the future and you know of uh blockchain and renewable energy itself and renewable energy financing and i i just have one specific question uh but of course youre welcome to answer to the more a more general question about this in particular do you foresee any you know uses for non-fungible tokens or nfts in the space that youre working in in this renewable energy space or do you think that its something that might not necessarily have a use case and if not i mean what what what do you foresee as coming down the pike in this in this space uh like any new you know technology or any new developments that uh that that you foresee would be uh id be really interested in hearing about them i think paul will have a different opinion from myself but i want you to go first yeah i dont know if were gonna be so different then well see no jason look again im gonna kind of dodge it or not im not gonna put a percentage next to my prediction right of of what nfts might or might not do in the energy space um i certainly will make one confident prediction i think lots of people are going to try and sell non-fungal tokens in ways that connect with energy ill tell you one thing that interests me from a research perspective and we havent touched on it in any of our work so far but an electricity network your national grid in your country is its a lot of iron and its a lot of copper right its expensive physical assets historically you know they were theyre very much passive assets okay power just flowed according to kirchhoffs laws and ohms laws right there was no ability to direct where power would flow increasingly though theres theres smarter devices on a grid so you can have whats called a high voltage direct current connection which connects one grid to another which uses electronics to actually modulate the flow of power from one country to another for instance um so those are interesting assets okay theyre particularly interesting in cases where maybe the countries dont fully trust each other or you know that there could be some tension on either side theyre assets like i say that are fundamentally electronic right its its transistors turning on and off at particular times that establish the power flow so for me the most the most speculative use case you could imagine for blockchain and energy is to start saying assets like that big important national assets if control of them could be tokenized right so that someone could hold an nft which directly allows them to control what an asset such as a high voltage direct current link does um that to me is a provocative interesting idea and it sounds boring its like oh so i joined stock corporations earlier thats boring i dont ever been to venice jason but its very beautiful its full of lovely architecture uh in part thats because the venetians were among the first to adopt double entry bookkeeping i mean what could be more boring than the history of accountancy but again its something about that a slightly different way of thinking about wealth a slightly different way of looking at wealth and you know you become this this crazy powerful city-state that punches far above their weight historically um so again maybe maybe high voltage direct current links are boring and but i think if someone can can come up with a convincing way to say how how ownership of those national assets can be tokenized and control of those assets can be given to the people i think youre looking there at a very a very weird and disruptive and subversive view of how an economy might operate so its things like that that id like to play some role in trying to sketch those kind of visions as an academic i mean i mean itd always be interesting to um explore like research in that direction but in terms of like the real value in the electricity sector i mean i think nfts are very useful in collectibles and like arts gaming i think they are very like music i think theyre very important because those kind of assets are invaluable you cant really put any value to an artists album but for renewable generators i feel like theyre fiscal assets that have real value and ill say this from the view on africa electricity is a necessity more than um a luxury and i feel that if renewable assets or any um electricity assets becomes tokenized for instance using nfts then this would ultimately like drive the value of these assets and at the end of the day most times the consumers usually bear the costs of these things and were talking about electricity as a necessity and availability of electricity um for high social welfare value then i i feel personally like nfts shouldnt be discussed at all in the electricity sector i feel tokenization yes funkable tokens yes in terms of fractionalizing the assets but yeah personally for me i im happy that we have conflicting views about this well yeah personally for me i think nfc should not be mentioned in the electricity industry so thats just my own view thank you thank you yeah i mean the controversy is good um well thank you both for your time this was a really fascinating conversation and we uh we really love your research its fascinating and im looking forward to uh to see more of it in the future so for for chain-link research im jason anastasopolis thank you you Sustainable energy is crucial for improving the economies of developing nations. Together, the Web3 technologies of blockchains, smart contracts, and oracles can help bring sustainable energy funding and energy systems to countries that are considered “too risky” to invest in by legacy financial institutions. In this Chainlink Research Reports video, Chainlink researcher Jason Anastasopoulos speaks with Assistant Professor Dr. Paul Cuffe and PhD Candidate Olakunle Alao, two researchers from University College Dublin who are using blockchain, smart contracts, and oracles to help bring sustainable energy to the developing world. Chainlink Research Reports cover the latest research from across the smart contract ecosystem. Featuring academics and industry experts in the fields of computer science, economics, and cryptography, this series offers a glimpse into cutting-edge research developments in Web3. Chainlink is the industry standard for building, accessing, and selling oracle services needed to power hybrid smart contracts on any blockchain. Chainlink oracle networks provide smart contracts with a way to reliably connect to any external API and leverage secure off-chain computations for enabling feature-rich applications. Chainlink currently secures tens of billions of dollars across DeFi, insurance, gaming, and other major industries, and offers global enterprises and leading data providers a universal gateway to all blockchains. Learn more about Chainlink: Website: Docs: Twitter: Chainlink Web3 climatechange blockchain Web3,blockchain,Chainlink,