In the past couple of years, blockchain has emerged as one of the most disruptive trends in the technology universe. Sectors from finance down to logistics have all been eyeing blockchain technology with great interest. Throughout all this hype, the renewable energy sector has been somewhat quiet.
This is compounded by the fact that fossil fuels make up a majority of our energy consumption and that oil and gas companies have been slow to experiment with blockchain technology
However, despite the silence of the industry at large, there are a number of companies leading the energy sector through a quiet blockchain energy revolution. Companies such as Grid+ and Power Ledger have been offering innovative solutions that leverage blockchain in the renewable energy space.
Grid+ uses a strategy where they buy power on a wholesale basis before selling it to customers through the use of a peer-to-peer trading platform. Likewise Australian innovators Power Ledger “use blockchain technology to enable households and buildings to trade excess solar power peer-to-peer to make power more distributed and sustainable for consumers”. Power Ledger works by facilitating energy trades based on automated terms and conditions in real time.
Blockchain is growing in popularity on account of its versatility and its efficiency. Blockchain is a decentralized ledger technology, which monitors transactions in real-time and verifies them across an entire network of devices. Just as financial transactions can be conducted in real-time with blockchain, energy transfers can be processed in a similar fashion.
One of the core appeals of a blockchain platform is that it cuts out the manual processes that sap time and resources from a company. In the energy sector, renewable energy companies can use blockchain to make their services more cost-effective and streamline power delivery to their customers.
Even though the renewable energy sector has not embraced blockchain wholeheartedly, the value proposition advanced by Grid+ and Power Ledger is hard to ignore. The ability to transfer energy on a decentralized basis would help to eliminate many of the inefficiencies that have plagued the industry for the past decade. Around 5 percent of your energy is lost travelling from the power plant to your home.
In future, blockchain technology will allow energy to be transferred between supplier and consumer, whilst being verified and recorded online. At this stage it is undeniable that companies like Power Ledger and Grid+ are laying the foundations of blockchain in the renewable energy sector and leading this technological revolution.