French utility giant pursues carbon neutrality as Hedera node operator

French utility giant Électricité de France has joined the Hedera Governing Council as a node operator. EDF, which is among the top five global utility firms, represents the first from its industry to join the council and will use the technology as part of its aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Hedera network is a public, enterprise-grade blockchain that is owned and governed by private entities. EDF joins the likes of IBM, Google, Boeing as node operators, with each having an equal vote in the future direction of the software. Each member can serve for a maximum three-year term, with the possibility of serving for two consecutive terms. The creator and proprietor of Hedera’s Hashgraph algorithm, Swirlds, retains a permanent seat on the council.

EDF’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Exaion, which already runs a Tezos (XTZ) node in France, will leverage the Hedera network as part of its blockchain-as-a-service offerings. Hedera’s proof-of-stake network is expected to form the energy-efficient basis of EDF’s exploration into becoming carbon neutral.

Gilles Deleuze, principal researcher in systems risk assessment at EDF R&D, said distributed ledger technology would spur the development of greenhouse gas certificates, decentralized electricity systems, and more:

“In the near future, distributed computing will support increasingly decentralized electrical systems, complex supply chains and exchanges of digital assets, energy certificates, GHG credits, and more. Multiple pieces of the distributed ledger technology ecosystem will form the puzzle pieces that make this vision a reality.”

Deleuze said EDF would leverage tokenization on Hedera (the Hedera Token Service) to create a “carbon offset and credit system” in line with the company’s goal of cutting CO2 emissions.

“We believe in partnering with industry leaders like Hedera Hashgraph to explore innovative technologies and organizational modes, build value-creating ecosystems, develop use cases for the energy domain and EDF’s operations, and develop Exaion’s potential to deliver blockchain/DLT and high-performance computing services,” Deleuze said.

Lionel Chocron, chief product officer at Hedera Hashgraph, said that the maturation of distributed ledger technologies was pushing companies to explore decentralized solutions, stating:

“Today’s most forward-thinking organizations recognize that the maturation of distributed computing requires the use of multiple technologies and efforts to deliver on the services their customers want.”

The proprietary nature of Hedera lays the foundation for its “no hardfork guarantee,” promising long-term stability for businesses and enterprises which use its technology. In January, Australian payment giant Eftpos became a Hedera node operator. More recently, Hedera made inroads to Africa after the continent’s largest bank joined the governing council.

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