Home Blockchain News In 2019, a new blockchain technology will improve the process of purchasing and selling renewable energy.

In 2019, a new blockchain technology will improve the process of purchasing and selling renewable energy.

by Michael Stark

Blockchain Technology and Its Potential Impact on Energy Trading

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize energy trading, leading to local-level markets where consumers can buy and sell energy to each other based on real-time price data.

The Potential of Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading

In the longer term, the blockchain may open up the possibility of peer-to-peer energy trading. As consumers increasingly start to produce their own power with technologies like rooftop solar panels, the blockchain’s ability to process a large volume of transactions cheaply and securely could open up local-level markets to trade energy based on real-time price data.

Expanding Market Opportunities

Currently, consumers are only able to “sell” electricity back to their suppliers in the form of reduced bills. However, the future holds the potential for every electricity-using, storing, or producing device to be able to trade energy with other devices, buildings, and entire utility distribution networks. This could create a new paradigm for energy trading.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite undeniable momentum in the energy blockchain space, there are obstacles to realizing the full potential of this technology. One such obstacle is the wider penetration of technologies like smart meters, which are currently installed in slightly more than a fifth of UK homes. However, the EU plans to replace 80 percent of traditional electricity meters with smart meters by 2020.

In addition, blockchain has faced criticism for the amount of energy it uses. For example, the bitcoin network was projected to use as much energy in 2018 as the entire country of Austria. However, the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) claims that its blockchain will only use as much energy as a medium-sized office building at commercial scale, as the algorithm used to verify information requires less computational power.

Overcoming Industry Aversion to Risk

Despite these challenges, innovation in the energy sector is crucial for progress, even though it often proceeds more slowly due to the critical nature of national infrastructure. Joanna Hubbard, chief commercial officer of energy-blockchain startup Electron, likens innovation in the energy sector to open heart surgery on a living patient, as it requires caution and precision.

Looking Ahead

In 2019, blockchain technology is poised to bring about significant innovation in the energy sector while prioritizing the stability and reliability of national infrastructure. As technology continues to evolve, the potential for peer-to-peer energy trading and local-level energy markets becomes more feasible, potentially changing the landscape of energy trading as we know it.

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