Australian energy company is set to trial a peer-to-peer renewable energy marketplace.
Blockchain is the public ledger technology underpinning Bitcoin but the technology has also spawned other innovations including a platform to reward the creators of user-generated content. Now Power Ledger is using a greener form of Blockchain technology – Ecochain – to allow those producing excess renewable energy to sell it on directly to consumers.
Recently, we covered Transactivgrid, a US community electricity market which enables users to buy and sell energy from the grid. Power Ledger is different as it cuts out the middleman and allows customers to buy and sell electricity between themselves rather than selling it back to the grid at a minimal rate. As a result, customers who have been able to afford to invest in producing renewable energy will earn more from their excess. Simultaneously, those without the infrastructure who are still keen to run on renewables, can access energy at a lower cost. What’s more, if they want, electricity producers are able to gift electricity to whomever they choose.
Power Ledger’s Co-founder, Jemma Green believes the increased possibility of earning through renewable energy will increase the take up of solar panels, explaining, “Presently, if you’ve got surplus solar electricity you sell it back for a low feed-in tariff and buy it back (from the grid) for a high rate. Using (Power Ledger), you can sell it to your neighbour at somewhere between the two.”
The company will begin an 8 week trial shortly involving 10 households at NLV’s Busselton Lifestyle Village, on the Western Power network. What further blockchain-supported marketplaces are to come?