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Is Blockchain the Future of Renewable Energy?
By admin April 30, 2019

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Blockchain is a technology that was originally created for the digital currency, Bitcoin, essentially allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied. However, since then it has come a long way in the tech world, and it now has potential uses that span a wide range of industries. One of these industries is energy. Since blockchain works by decentralizing data, it has been described as a “blank canvas capable of driving innovation in the field of green technology,” and has an appeal to both major companies and start-ups looking to make a transition into green energy. Global Markets Insights Inc. even predicts that by 2025, blockchain technology in the energy sector will exceed 3 billion USD in valuation.

In fact, a number of start-ups are already utilizing blockchain technology to create consumer-driven smart grids that promote sustainability through real time data-sharing. The idea is that by creating these smart grids, consumers will have control over where they source their energy, as well as the information behind its production, thus driving competition in clean energy. A pilot program in Estonia called WePower has been testing how well a choice-driven energy market could work by giving consumers energy credits to spend, and allowing them the freedom to alter their choices based on real-time power generation and prices. However, it is important to note that Estonia already has a fully digital grid, making it easy for them to implement this program, whereas many countries’ grids still operate on older, less secure technology.

If the blockchain grid does become mainstream, an entirely new market potential for renewable energy will emerge. Although the cost of renewable energy has already dropped considerably, blockchain smart grids would give consumers a direct say in the source of energy that they purchase, helping to make clean energy a mainstream option. This will be especially relevant in countries where renewables are primed to be the market choice based on strong green policy and social beliefs. Additionally, while it is unrealistic to ask countries to make technological changes to entire grid systems overnight, the non-profit organization Energy Web Foundation (EWF) has established a platform designed to bring together the energy and blockchain communities. There are already nearly 100 affiliates in the EWF, representing a transformational step towards the implementation of the technology within the energy sector.

However, no technology is perfect, and the main criticism of blockchain stems from the fact that for a smart grid to be successful, every consumer will be required to share their information. Many people see this as a violation of their privacy and are rightfully wary of the technology as a result. In addition to this, blockchain has played a large role in cryptocurrency data mining, which is a highly energy intensive process that has caused large carbon spikes in global emissions. Although this is not a direct result of blockchain itself, it still attaches a negative reputation to the technology in some energy spaces.

Yet, if these challenges can be overcome, the potential remains for the energy industry to leverage blockchain to eliminate security risks and advance supply chain management, ultimately creating a more accessible and sustainable grid infrastructure for consumers. Its decentralized, consumer-focused nature could catalyze a fundamental shift in the distribution of energy, stimulating the new renewable generation that perfectly complements the ongoing global transition into a new low-carbon economy.

 

For more information:

Blockchain Is The Next Big Thing For Renewable Energy

Blockchain technology in the energy sector: A systematic review of challenges and opportunities

The Implementation of Blockchain in the Energy Sector

WePower website

What Does Blockchain Mean for the Renewable Energy Sector?

What Is Blockchain Technology?


Thanks for sharing !


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