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 […]