Uruguay launches blockchain-powered REC platform


A renewable energy certification scheme has been established by Uruguay's grid operator UTE and the Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Mining. The application, which is based on Energy Web's decentralized operating system, is designed to allow businesses to obtain certificates that specify the origin and source of renewable energy.

This development is among the first large-scale blockchain apps created in Uruguay, making UTE and the ministry one of the leaders in developing blockchain applications in Latin America’s energy industry.

With the first certificate anticipated in March 2022, the program is immediately open to utility and medium-sized energy users. From June, it will be available for those on non-residential rates, as well as self-generators of renewables, including the certification of renewable energy created but not injected into the network. In the long run, the system will be expanded to include all residential users.

The program was created in response to Uruguay's rapid increases in renewable energy over the last decade and a need to apply a globally recognized standard to its production. It is intended to help the decarbonization of different sectors, such as transportation and industry, and might be crucial in boosting Uruguay's green hydrogen development.

The ministry established the conditions for certificate issuance, while UTE developed the technical platform. The system compares generation supply and demand on an hourly basis, and issues certificates monthly. They are automatically transmitted to the renewable energy buyer, whether a distributor or a major client once they are emitted.

At a September 2021 presentation on the program, Industry, Energy, and Mining Minister Omar Paganini said, “We believe that being able to certify that your energy, or a certain fraction of it, is renewable is highly beneficial for a consumer. The ability to guarantee that a product is made from energy sources that do not produce carbon emissions or greenhouse gases is another value that the market is increasingly demanding.”

Renewable energy certification is a popular use case for blockchain, and the same concept is now being applied to green hydrogen as well as other tracking applications, such as supply chains.

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