To understand how this blockchain technology can influence the energy sector especially solar energy, we have to understand what this blockchain technology is.
If you will Google it, you can easily find that blockchain is a decentralized ledger technology. Well in more simple terms, blockchain transfers the information, not in one go but converts that information into multiple “blocks” and share it among the other points of the network. So, when a person is downloading the data it’s not just downloading from one point, but the information is coming from multiple points. Which further makes the information secure as one point do not have all of the information.
So, if we apply the same technology to the energy sector especially the solar sector, it will enable end users to trade the energy among themselves. Let’s take an example of 2-person Person-X and Person-Y. If Person-X have a rooftop solar solution and if the energy generated is more than the required for Person-X, then it’s obvious that Person-X will like to trade that extra energy generated. Now there is a Person-Y in his neighbor who needs the energy. He can easily buy the same from Person-X and since the transfer of the payment is via a blockchain based platform, it will be secure.
The above-mentioned scenario is practically performed and tested in one of the Brooklyn local community by the name of Brooklyn Microgrid Project. In this project, the rooftop solar solution is installed in 5 buildings and the unused energy is been sold to the neighboring buildings while all the buildings are still connected to the grid and all the transaction are done and managed on the blockchain platform. It is found that through smart meter technology and blockchain software, the transaction is easily made between neighbor to neighbor. This project confirms that blockchain technology can create a local community market for the solar energy. The same scenario can be used for any form of renewable energy. On the same hand the individual being energy independent, the load on the grid will decrease and moreover, since the transaction is between two individual or parties, they do not have to worry about the bank transaction issues. Yes, we must understand that this blockchain technology can or will in future be replacing the traditional banking process.
Yes, it’s very true and very interesting thing to see and understand that blockchain technology can easily help an individual or a group or even an energy startup to raise funds from different venture capitols. The investor either can sell the energy or can consume it as per his/her choice. The investor can sell the energy to the grid or any other community to recover its investment or can use for himself and cover the investment through lowering the energy bills. In either way, this becomes a multidimensional and smart platform with new and better possibilities.
But to make this happen all economies must come together on one type of digital currency fully functional on the blockchain technology, not only that that currency must be accepted by the local banks. Once it’s done, blockchain based platforms will make the energy sharing easy, will decrease the load on the grid and will help the individual or a community to be energy independent.
There are some names working in the same sector, getting the positive results which are showing the brighter side of the picture.
A company EcoCoin designed a blockchain based platform which allows P2P trading of solar energy and other renewable assets. As per the Brendon Gails, one of the members of EcoCoin team, they built a blockchain based technology for the energy market not just solar but for the entire renewable energy market. Now its user has a marketplace to buy or sell the unused energy they are generating, and that platform also helps the user to visualize their consumption and production to make a decision based on the real-time data.
By making such kind of marketplace, blockchain technology will also be making more and more communities interested to setup their own micro/mini-grids.
With small steps, the world is accepting this blockchain technology. This blockchain technology is going to be the 4th industrial revolution. Companies like EcoCoin and TransActive are creating a platform which can ease the process of energy trading locally which will further help to attract new and more people in renewable energy. Blockchain technology is really going to change the energy sector.
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