For several years Blockchain technology has promised to help foster the greater use of renewable energy sources due to the fact it is able to trace the production of green sustainable energy. This will prove to be vital, whether it be for peer 2 peer electricity trading in local communities (i.e. selling surplus power generated from your solar panels or wind turbines to your neighbour) or to allow companies to be carbon neutral by specific dates, examples of this being Amazon by 2040, Microsoft by 2030 or Heathrow airport by 2030 (excluding emissions from the planes that land). Increasingly, consumers of electricity are looking for green energy suppliers and in the UK the six major electricity suppliers all have green energy tariffs.
There are a variety of companies which have been developing Blockchain -powered platforms in various forms to enable the tracking of carbon certificates, peer 2 peer energy trading, diverting excess power to electric vehicles batteries to recharge them and much more. Here is a selection of some of the current initiatives:
Nori is a firm that uses Blockchain technology to issue certificates for tracking and tracing carbon. It has developed a platform that enables farmers to be paid to, in effect to, ‘lock up’ carbon in their fields and so help offset global warming.
Vodaphone has announced that it has teamed-up with Energy Web, which is trying to decarbonise the electricity grid by using Blockchain, AI and IoT technologies to enable heat pumps, solar panels and wind turbines (i.e. renewable and usually distributed energy production) to be integrated into power grids. In simplistic terms, Vodaphone and Energy Web’s platform is very similar to how mobile phones operate with their individual identities. Therefore, each renewable energy producer can be identified, thus enabling the grid either to instruct each power supplier as to whether energy needs to be supplied to the grid, to stop producing energy or to store the power in a battery.
Equigy is using electric vehicle car batteries to store excess energy using Blockchain technology helping to ‘smooth out’ the supply of energy to electricity grids. The aim is to encourage investment into more renewable sources of energy, thus helping the environment.
Electron, based in Orkney, north of Scotland, has historically produced more electricity from its windy shores than it consumes. By using Blockchain technology, surplus energy is tracked and then diverted to batteries for storage and to also charge electric car batteries.
Power Ledger, in Australia, has teamed-up with a property developer in Perth as part of Power Ledger’s goal to introduce a solar energy trading platform for users in Western Australia.
The cost of renewable energy continues to decline
Source: International Renewable Energy Association
Encouragingly, renewable energy has entered a virtuous cycle of falling costs, increasing deployment and accelerated technological progress. The cost of solar power has fallen by approximately 80+% since the end of 2009, while wind turbine prices have reduced by up to 40%., all helped by economies of scale and improved efficiencies. Clearly, with the global ever- increasing focus on climate change and the need for more sustainable green energy, organisations have now transitioned from not just discussions about what might be, but to implementing real solutions in the energy sector thus helping to promote wider use of renewable energy suppliers. Blockchain-powered platforms are playing a vital role in this increased adoption of renewable energy solutions as they track and trace supplies for both energy producers and users alike.