The power industry is at a rapid pace of transformation as utilities are embracing new technologies, new sources of generation have emerged, and data is being relied on to drive efficiency. Customers—both private and corporate— are leading innovations of distributed power generation. On the other hand, utilities stride towards upgrading grid infrastructure to turn the distributed power and smart grid into reality. But to bring aforesaid to complete reality a solution is required that could address the arising problems. Blockchain technology seems the answer to issues. It is a distributed ledger that stores data and transaction data, supported by immutability, encryption, and authentication that brings transparency and security to the network.
The blockchain seems suitable because it creates a transparent, auditable, and automated record of energy consumption and generation resulting in energy efficiency and cost savings. And as required, it holds the potential to support peer-to-peer energy trading between consumer and supplier, in a similar manner of financial trading. There are various anticipated ways in which blockchain can rejig the current workflow of the energy sector.
Bill Settlement: Blockchain ledgers can conveniently modify the bill settlement procedure and prepaid recharges of smart meters. Smart contracts can store custom algorithms in form of program code which will get triggered when the desired condition is met. Customers can store commands to recharge or pay bills automatically and transactions will be recorded for accountability.
Energy Certificate Renewal and Customer Shift: Ledgers will provide convenience in energy certificate authentication and trading renewable energy certificates. As an outcome, customer shift will also become smooth, whenever a supplier is switched; the same database can be carry forward for supplies.
Energy Trading: The major utilization of the technology will be observed in energy trading. Wholesale and retail trading both will require a record keeping system that is secure and automatically keeps a track of transactions. Immutability feature will allow all entities in the network to view transaction data but will not be able to tamper data. Smart contracts—as explained above—will be handy in settling payments.
Scalability of Network: Blockchain network is highly scalable which will benefit distributed energy network to scale to the required. More suppliers and consumers can easily connect over the network for energy trading, resulting in cheap and sustainable power sources.