Expert Voices

How blockchain falls short for energy transactions

wind turbines in a field with red dollar signs on the ground
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

More sophisticated energy systems will be needed for the diversified, intelligent electric grids of the future, but blockchain technology — one widely promoted solution — may require a long list of difficult tradeoffs.

Why it matters: The power sector is becoming more distributed and decarbonized, with increasing amounts of intermittent renewables, energy storage and other smart technologies deployed across the grid. If new energy markets can't make a symphony of these varied assets, the result could be a dysfunctional cacophony.

Microsoft's bet on blockchain

In this image, a phone is held up to the camera with the Microsoft logo displayed. Strings of code are seen behind the phone.
Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

While not the earliest to beat the blockchain drum, Microsoft is starting to embrace the distributed ledger technology, both inside the company and for its customers.

What's new: The company on Thursday announced a new blockchain service for Azure and a partnership with JP Morgan Chase. Amazon's AWS also announced a blockchain service this week.