Blockchain has become a movement in its own right, the technology that forms the underlying platform for Bitcoin and other digital currencies is being adapted to all kinds of applications today. From insurance documents to identity verification, stock tracking to the veracity of artwork, it seems blockchain has an application everywhere. Now Australian company Power ledger is aiming to revolutionize the energy market by using blockchain to create a market where excess solar energy can be sold directly to consumers. The promise is that of cheaper energy for consumers, and better prices for suppliers, with tests beginning later this month.
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One of the major products of the rise of the digital currency industry since the release of Bitcoin in 2009 has been the adaptability of the underlying blockchain technology that drives it. From major financial institutions to clothing companies, it seems like almost every industry and market sector has an application that can make use of blockchain technology. Of course, there are ideas to use blockchain that never get beyond an idea, but one that has real potential has come from Australian company Power ledger, and is focussed on the solar energy market.
The system, that will start its initial small scale trial a t the end of this month, aims to offer a more efficient and easy to use way of buying, selling or even exchanging the excess solar power that homeowners generate through their solar panels. The current system allows a low feed tariff to be reclaimed as the excess solar energy is sold to the grid, but this proposed system is hoped to prove more efficient and offer a better deal for both buyers and sellers.
The system to be tested is designed to allow both producers and consumers to trade energy directly, allowing less overheads and thus lower prices for buyers, while also maximizing the output of producers, as noted by Power Ledger founder Jemma Green, who said:
“For many consumers, the decision to put solar panels on their roofs wasn’t just about saving money or saving the environment; it was an investment decision. The ability to now sell their excess energy to other customers represents the return on their investment.”
The reduced transaction overheads and direct transactions mean that those with solar panels effectively become their own energy wholesaler, and consumers can benefit from the reduced, wholesale level prices, creating a benefit to all parties involved.
The initial trial will be restricted to a small number of homes, but it is hoped that wider scale rollout will follow in due course afterwards. The adaptability of blockchain is unquestionable now, and the many advantages of the technology are finding ways to improve vastly disparate markets, it may not have been the way many imagined the cryptocurrency industry would expand, but it is without question effective.