Sep 14, 2018 Gerda Verbickaite
So how can the blockchain technology improve the energy sector?
The current process of energy generation, transportation and selling is highly inefficient, resulting in us paying a higher price. Blockchain technology could change all that by improving our electricity data management, automating the process of energy verification and energy transmission from and to the main grid.
Implementation of these systems could also open new doors to small private renewable energy producers as well as encourage more communities to switch to solar panels or wind. Blockchain will allow electricity producers to trade energy peer-to-peer, allowing them to sell in real time, get paid instantly. In contrast, the traditional way energy is sold is much more complicated: producers sell the surplus energy to a bigger energy provider, the provider transfers it to the main grid and sells it back to the consumer. Blockchain could remove the middleman from the process and allow consumers to buy directly from producers at the best price.
It is interesting to remember that by integrating blockchain technology in electricity industry we could also potentially reduce the amount of energy wasted in transit. That would be especially the case for micro-grid communities, who would produce and trade electricity between one another within their micro-grid.
In the past years, the number of private individuals using solar panels has been increasing. This trend only seems to continue to grow, making more people around the globe part of electricity producers, with an energy system created to support few larger producers instead of millions of small ones.
With the usage of blockchain technology the providers would not be as dependent on the centralized system anymore and instead would be each able to sell their surplus energy directly to the consumer. Blockchain integration in the energy sector could help to put the power back in the hands of the people.
In the past years, more companies and projects have been utilizing this technology, such as LO3 Brooklyn Microgrid project and GRID+. Brooklyn Microgrid project has created a neighborhood network in which solar energy producers are able to sell their surplus energy directly to the consumers in their neighborhood in an automated process. The surplus energy is stored in the batteries until it is either used by the owners or sold. GRID+ works on a similar principle, where it allows its users to automatically sell and buy energy from one another, helping the providers to sell and providing cheaper and clean energy to consumers.
In the future, we will be able to sell and buy energy as easily as we buy other consumer goods.
Blockchain technology integrated into the energy sector could increase its resilience towards hacker attacks and energy production disruptions. The current energy grid system can be hacker into relatively easy and happens once every while, cutting electricity from neighborhoods for hours.
By incorporating blockchain into the energy grid we could add an extra security layer, making it almost impossible to hack into.
Areas which are affected by rough weather conditions, disrupting energy transit via the energy grids could also benefit from the blockchain technology. The decentralization aspect of it helps prevent the magnitude of catastrophe, where instead huge neighborhoods or cities losing electricity due to certain conditions, only a small area, which was directly affected by the natural disaster would temporarily lose energy and the rest of the grid would still be able to move electricity between one another and even possibly back to the distressed area.
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