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Blockchain Austria News

Austria will use blockchain to find facilities generating surplus heat in the cities of Vienna and Graz in order to use it for public heating. The HotCity project, developed by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), is a system that uses the resources of increased thermal energy sources in the cities of Vienna and Graz for public heating. The platform will be powered by the Ignis blockchain, which is part of the Ardor ecosystem developed by the Swiss company Jelurida.

Given that Vienna has one of the largest district heating networks in Europe, this initiative has several advantages. The system will allow using thermal emissions from various enterprises to provide consumers with energy. This will reduce energy consumption by 75% and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The HotCity platform will provide accurate data to improve urban planning in Vienna and Graz. The project has already received funding of 310,000 euros from the Austrian Federal Ministry to combat climate change, preserve the environment, and develop energy, innovation and technology in the country. The organizers of the project noted that large sources of excess heat, for example, factories and data centers, are quite easy to detect, but thermal energy from small sources remains unused. According to the project manager, Dr. Ernst Gebetsroither-Geringer, Vienna produces 400 GWh of surplus heat, which can be used efficiently.

The essence of the project is to clearly define these “hot spots”. With the help of a special application, residents of Vienna and Graz will be able to provide information about them by performing self-checks on the spot or by scanning photos and Google maps. For the provision of data, citizens will receive tokens, which can then be exchanged for certain goods or services. The blockchain will be used to protect data, ensure its confidentiality and exchange tokens for special vouchers. Gebetsreuter-Geringer added that in the future the system will be able to be used by enterprises wishing to sell surplus heat energy, but at the moment HotCity does not provide for such functions. Testing of the platform was scheduled for the beginning of the year, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the developers postponed the launch of the pilot project until October, when the heating season opens. As a reminder, last year Vienna began developing its own Vienna token, which can be earned for providing feedback about the city or using bicycles instead of transport, and later exchanged for various services.

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