The growing consensus around the significant benefits of integrating blockchain into everyday business continues in key discussions around energy sharing. So, is it the global solution every consumer has been anticipating?
The electrical grid can’t distinguish where energy it receives originates from. Whether electrons are solar, turbine or fossil fuel based, all electricity is tracked by the global use of government issued, tradable certificates. Managing these tradable certificates continues to play a disruptive role in potential investments of renewable energy.
While for the most part, the trackable system works, it’s problematic, outdated and most importantly due to blockchain technology, highly updateable. Emerging blockchain based systems that operate on high security, fixed and immutable ledger-based transaction record are offering an opportunity toward sorely needed change.
But how can technology intended for cryptocurrency translate to energy certification?
We know that blockchain is a shared, encrypted database that is kept by a network of computers. With every transaction made, the blockchain verifies the action with a date and time stamp that cannot be corrupted or altered. This network-based technology is ideal for the nature of the relationship between consumers and producers – and now prosumers – effectively every party requiring connection across the energy grid.
How does that work for prosumers?
With the big focus being on reducing costs and intermediaries, blockchain based technology translated to energy consumption can make a big dent. Currently, when energy is generated, it is logged as data, unit by unit. That information is then processed and pushed on to a registry provider for certification. At this point, the certificate is brokered by intermediaries and then re-verified after point of purchase.
Sound complicated? You’re right, it is- and that isn’t the sole concern about the existing method for tracking, certifying and sharing energy when it comes to such an outdated system. Left open to error and security concerns, it’s fraught with risk and off-putting to potential investors of natural energy.
The idea that blockchain technology can solve those concerns isn’t a pipe-dream, and in fact it could cast off number of business dead-weights where they stand. Not only does blockchain based technology allow for peer-to peer trading with other consumers (wouldn’t you rather sell excess energy to your neighbour?) it also streamlines the financial process that electricity producers of today traditionally endure. Instead of long waiting times before they are paid, energy producers of tomorrow could be paid on instant terms.
It is obvious that blockchain-based technology is streets ahead of an outdated and flawed system of record keeping. A future where the residences and businesses of tomorrow can share electricity on a peer to peer basis is not just possible, but increasingly likely given the evidence around blockchain technology as a necessary step forward across the globe.
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