solar energy and blockchain-themetaeconomist

Solar energy and blockchain to win the ecological challenges

21 May 2024

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As in many economic fields, also in the ecology blockchain aims to create transparent and traceable operations. Blockchain can be used to track and verify transactions, without the need for a centralized intermediary. This makes it particularly suitable for solar energy, which is produced in a decentralized way by solar panels installed on the roofs and land of private citizens. Many experiments in the world want to prove that energetic communities can be an everyday reality. Maybe with blockchain everything can be simplify.

Solar energy with photovoltaic (PV) converts sunlight directly into electricity, while solar thermal uses sunlight for heating purposes. Both forms have their unique advantages and applications and provide future society with clean energy sources.

"Blockchain technology - reported Gree.org - is a decentralized and transparent digital ledger. It uses cryptographic algorithms and consensus mechanisms to verify and record transactions. Smart contracts, enable automated and self-executing agreements without the need for intermediaries.

Indeed, one of the main advantages of blockchain for solar energy is the possibility of creating a peer-to-peer market for energy exchange between producers and consumers. Currently, solar energy produced by photovoltaic panels is sold to the electricity grid at fixed prices, which often do not reflect the real value of the energy based on supply and demand.

The advantages

Blockchain technology offers many advantages in the solar energy sector by improving transparency, efficiency, and security of energy transactions. Here is a detailed analysis of how this technology can be applied:

  1. Tracking the Origin of Solar Energy:
    • Blockchain allows the creation of an immutable record of energy transactions. This record can document the entire production and distribution chain of solar energy, ensuring that the energy purchased by consumers indeed comes from renewable sources.
    • This is particularly important for consumers and businesses aiming to reduce their environmental footprint and support clean energy. With a blockchain-based system, it is easy to verify the origin of energy and ensure it has been produced sustainably.
  2. Smart Contracts for Energy Exchange:
    • Smart contracts are self-executing programs with the terms of the agreement written into the code. In the context of solar energy, they can automate the process of energy exchange between producers and consumers.
    • For example, a smart contract could be configured to automatically purchase solar energy from a producer when the price of energy on the electrical grid exceeds a certain level. This ensures that producers receive a fair and stable price for their energy, improving market efficiency.
  3. Creating a More Resilient and Secure Energy Network:
    • Traditional energy grids are often centralized and vulnerable to cyberattacks and service interruptions. Blockchain enables the creation of a decentralized network of energy microgrids.
    • These microgrids can operate autonomously, enhancing the overall resilience of the network. In the event of a large-scale interruption, the microgrids can continue to function independently, ensuring a continuous energy supply.
    • Additionally, the inherent decentralization and transparency of blockchain reduce the risk of fraud and manipulation. Each transaction is immutably recorded and can be easily verified, increasing trust in the energy system.

In summary, implementing blockchain in the solar energy sector not only improves the traceability and reliability of energy but also promotes the automation and security of energy transactions, contributing to a more sustainable and robust energy market.

Case studies

Green.org underlines some case study in real world, witnessing several examples which demonstrate the successful integration of solar energy and blockchain technology. One example is the Brooklyn Microgrid project in New York. This project utilizes blockchain to enable peer-to-peer energy trading among residents, creating a self-sufficient and sustainable community.

Another example is the Energo project in Thailand. It combines blockchain technology with solar energy to provide affordable and reliable electricity to rural communities. This initiative empowers local residents and reduces energy poverty through decentralized energy generation and distribution.

SOURCE: Green.org

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