Interview with Alex D’Elia, Prosume
Prosume connects independent power producers, consumers, utility companies, and energy communities in a locally shared market where each peer is free to interact in a multi-tenant ecosystem. The main goal of the project is to promote the decentralization of power models and empower energy communities.
What is Prosume’s backstory?
Alex D’Elia, our President, started working on decentralized infrastructures (through Mesh Networks) back in 2007 within a previous company he co-founded. After delivering a couple of Smart Cities based on decentralized technologies, he focused on Smart Grids, and he got deeper into decentralization by working with some researchers and developers of DLTs and Blockchain technologies. In 2015 he founded the first UK based Company working to apply blockchain technology to the Energy Sector. After some small successful projects, the UK Company was closed, and the project was rebooted with PROSUME in 2017.
Can you tell a bit more about the choices you have made regarding blockchain technology? Have you used the Ethereum platform?
We are actually “Blockchain Agnostic” as we are not stuck to one technology and one vertical blockchain solution. Also, we do not use Ethereum. We did actually start with Bitshares Blockchain, and now working with Hyperledger and other DLTs.
What benefits does the Prosume platform bring to your customers? What are the advantages compared to your competitors?
The main benefits for the customers and advantages compared to the competition are:
- More Flexibility and Interoperability for Energy Stakeholders
- Easy Integration in the Infrastructure Layer (for the Smart Grids and in Provider Platforms)
- OpenSource with Privacy by Design and Standards
- A Modularized and Integrated Solution (accessibility, accounting, service, market)
- An Inclusive Approach toward third-party service providers
What’s the status of the e-Prosume project at the moment? Has everything gone according to plans so far?
Yes it has, besides the COVID-19 emergency. For the rest, we are proceeding as scheduled, and our partner Evolvere has already installed more than 800 Eugenio (their IoT device at home) by its customers.
How’s your public trading platform progressing? Is the Beta version out yet?
We do not have a Public Trading Platform. So far, we have focused on real Use Cases delivering specific solutions for specific customers (Energy Stakeholders like Aggregators or Providers). We are building the pieces (tools) that compose a Toolkit of our Software Solutions.
Could you briefly open up about your future expansion plans?
We are actively working in Italy and Spain, and are meant to start projects in Germany and the Netherlands. We are also in discussions with strategic partners who have subsidies and are actively working in South America and Asia.
Can you give us your thoughts on decentralization and the future of energy trading?
We believe that the overall picture is now clear; we have to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable sources which are decentralized by nature. Also, we are seeing that the globalization is an issue when it comes to redistribution of wealth, goods, and services. Energy is needed to operate any activity of daily life and industry, so we do see that the future of decentralized infrastructure governance and trading of energy is actually even more present than before.
The current pandemic has hit hard, especially in Italy and Spain. How is it affecting your business and your original plans for 2020? Do you think this could have a positive outcome on renewables?
We definitely believe this will have a substantial impact on investment and the economic plans of Countries worldwide. Renewables are obviously a must if we want to move to a more sustainable and fair society, and truly are willing to leverage their potential. Right now, we had some projects that were postponed to September or later, but actually our plans of growing Local Energy Community projects are receiving a boost also thanks to the new European directives and investments fostered by the Green New Deal.