Blockchain is in the process of reshaping the energy sector by allowing utility companies to manage their energy generation and distribution more efficiently while reducing transaction costs but also by empowering consumers to trade excess energy with other consumers in a peer-to-peer network.
Utilities and government entities bring their institutional knowledge and partner with blockchain start-ups to develop blockchain application proof of concepts. One of the first startups within the sector to embrace blockchain technology is Power Ledger.
Power Ledger’s platform is designed to trade power on a peer to peer basis and receive payment in real-time from an automated settlement system in the blockchain. Using this platform eliminates the middleman and enables energy companies to transfer electricity without a centralized body or process.
The application of this technology on a wider scale could not just liberalize our access to clean energy, but drive down the cost of energy as well. For some time, the management of clean energy from producer to retailer has been incredibly difficult to manage.
Blockchain simplification of the process is a massive selling point for energy companies. The renewable energy sector is in a state of growth, and blockchain provides a genuine alternative to the manual processes and transactions that uphold the current system of electricity transfer between retailers and producers.
Power Ledger’s platform got its first bit of traction back in November 2017, when it was announced that the distributed energy platform would be trialed in Fremantle at a cost of $8 million. The Fremantle trial is the first of its kind within the energy industry that demonstrated that a diverse energy ecosystem including as a solar farm, rooftop solar panels, and an electric car charge station could be integrated into an interconnected infrastructure that seamlessly transfers data into a blockchain.
Source: Power Ledger
Blockchain usage within the energy sector could redefine the way we transfer and pay for electricity. Though this technology remains in its infancy, in a decade this could be the key to supporting sustainable energy across the world especially in developing countries where individuals have limited access to reliable and affordable power.
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