People mostly relate blockchain to Bitcoin. However, this technology is so much more. One of the greatest impacts blockchain can make is in saving the environment. Logically, transferring to the usage of renewable resources is a prerequisite. Blockchain-based energy trading in Australia is becoming reality. Above all, it has certain benefits that people will gradually come to realize.

What’s the Deal with Blockchain and Energy Supply?

Power Ledger is the start-up that launched this blockchain project in rural areas of Western Australia. Namely, they started a trial of peer-to-peer energy trading technology. The goal is to help farmers who already have access to renewable resources to “monetize their surplus solar energy”.

Apparently, there are established tariffs which do not compensate to households that feed unused solar power back into the energy grid.  Furthermore, blockchain technology can solve this issue. Consequently, it can also support the new ways of production and distribution of sustainable energy.

What Power Ledger recognized as potential is the growing number of households that use solar panels to generate energy. Gigantic energy sector still hasn’t embraced the blockchain the way it should. Energy industry usually refers to instability of small independent grids as the main reason to avoid them. Furthermore, they claim that households that produce energy are causing distress to the large energy grids. Those traditional grids are centralized through large powerplants. However, blockchain can stabilize the grid if we allow the households to trade among themselves.

Pros and Cons of Introducing Blockchain

The main advantage of blockchain use is that it enables the users to be anonymous. More importantly, it enables the user to trace each stage of the production. We could say that blockchain can provide the tracking of electricity and its consumption in real time.

Traditional energy system is based on large-scale power stations. Those power stations provide energy for consumers who may be extremely far away. This requires a stronger energy push to reach even the furthest areas. Blockchain can help in this matter as well.

Blockchain enables smaller energy producers to join and take a share of the market. We can all agree that many households could benefit from this. Producing energy and trading with it can make households independent. Ultimately, it can bring profit.

The main cons of using this new technology refer to fear of the unknown. Lack of information and hesitance to become competitive to big players are the reasons that may cause slower acceptance.  Although it may not appear that way, being competitive to large producers puts a small producer in an unenviable position.  By big players we mean producers, distributors, retailers, etc.

Participants of the Program

At the moment, Power Ledger is reportedly working on trials at nine sites in the Shire of Wongan-Ballidu and one site from the Shire of Moora.

Power Ledger has reportedly partnered with local entities, such as Innovations Central Midlands. Moreover, local energy companies have also joined the project. Among them, the official statement mentioned the following: BSC Solar, Sonnen and CleanTech Energy. The users that will trade within Power Ledger platform include CRC/Visitor Centre, medical centre, sports centre, local farmers, bakeries and others.

One of the participants, Steve Mason, CEO of Innovations Central Midlands, reportedly stated that “the platform has the potential to save thousands of dollars in electricity costs by enabling a method for not wasting energy in remote rural areas”.

What is your stand on exploiting renewable resources and blockchain-based energy trading?

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