The trends and values which digitisation brings to the economies are also impacting the energy sector. Blockchain now powerfully further extends this impact onto the energy sector.
The ever-increasing capability of digital technologies and its falling costs is increasing the influence of digitisation into the energy sector. This introduces more control, transparency and choice to the consumers.
The reduction in the cost of digital connectivity and computing has driven the proliferation of smart technologies. Home automation, IoT, and mobile devices (IT) are some examples of technologies which are making ways in the energy sector. Furthermore, the energy sector innovations, particularly in the renewable category such as PhotoVoltaic (PV) and Smart Meters (SM) (Operational technologies, OT) and reduction in their costs, is empowering consumers to insource their energy production.
Concurrently the growing concern with the impact of fossil fuels on the environment and increasing prices of energy generation from these polluting sources has given rise to opportunities to rethink our electric Power.
Society is shifting its thinking from Energy to Power. People are thinking about were their electrons are coming from and the impact it has on the economy and on the environment. Certainly, the appetite for controlling and having more choices is also growing.
The opportunity to merge IT and OT as well as delivering value to consumers has been gaining momentum in recent years. This momentum has been accelerated by the economics of microgeneration and renewables becoming more compelling. However, with this opportunity comes a trade-off; complexity. The good news is that we have the tools and the means to manage complexity.
The increased adoption of decentralised energy resources particularly Decentralised MicroGeneration (DMG), has produced a significant positive disruption to the Power generation value chain.
Blockchain technology can be the ideal interaction facilitator of all the DMGs. It will be enabling and tracking the amount of power being transferred and the value it brings between each consumer. Hence allowing the monetisation of power in those interactions which have not been possible or economical before. The benefit of using blockchain is its intrinsic security and immutability built into the technology. Blockchain ensures integrity, security, and accessibility for consumers accomplishing their power, environmental and economic goals. At the same time, it has the capability to manage complexity in ever-growing defragmented power markets.
Blockchain has the potential to disrupt the energy market in similar ways eBay and online retailing disrupted the conventional retail markets.
Energy Blockchain opportunities
There are 5 themes in the opportunities which blockchain brings to the energy sector.
- Energy trading platforms
- Distributed MicroGeneration (Distributed Energy Resources)
- Electric vehicle markets
- Carbon tracking and registries
- Energy transactions for emerging markets
We will explore these themes in more details in the coming weeks.
Atlantic power exchange and its blockchain partner Quant Networks are working on developing a Power ecosystem which will allow DMGs to enter and participate in energy trading with minimum adoption friction and deliver value to consumers.