Philippines Meralco Plans to Use Blockchain and AI

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December 10, 2018. One of the country’s biggest power distributor, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), is thinking of using blockchain technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to disrupt its traditional business and become an internet company with a power business.

Meralco’s Chairman, Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, revealed during Meralco Technology and Innovation Summit (MTECH) 2018 the company’s plans on using blockchain and AI. He said that Meralco aims to be an internet company with a power business.

“We take a closer look at a fresh wave of powerful technology that could threaten to disrupt the current business model,” – Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan

This is also seconded by the company’s Chief Technology Advisor, Mr. Gavin Barfield, by saying that since the technology is moving really fast, they cannot say that they’re done. “So now, we need to look at the next wave of technologies, so blockchain is very interesting and particularly artificial intelligence,” he said.

In addition, Mr. Barfield also shared that the company is now in talks with a couple of blockchain companies to further explore the use of this new technology in the power industry.

These companies are UK-based blockchain energy trading – Verv and San Diego-based cleantech startup – Nuvve that uses blockchain in its EV charging system.

“We’re talking to a couple of companies with a platform and are looking to see whether we can start something. It’s not gonna be a big project… it’s an interesting concept to try,” – Mr. Gavin Barfield, Chief Technology Advisor, Meralco

In a previous report, IHS Markit, an information provider based in London reported that the country’s energy firms are ready to use the blockchain. According to the report, the current costly and inefficient energy system can get solved by blockchain.

“Key problems with [the energy] market today are that it’s a centralized model. It locks in models of energy waste; there can be a lack of consumer choice, which can vary by country. Electricity networks are in need of expensive upgrades, and financial models are locked in,”

A Philippine renewable energy company called First Gen was also previously reported here on BitPinas. It uses the Qtum blockchain in collaboration with Shanghai-based Energo Labs and conducted a demonstration at De La Salle University – Dasmariñas.

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