Peer-to-Peer Solar Energy Trading | Beginner’s Guide
Blockchain in P2P Solar Energy Trading
Solar & battery storage has come a long way, and more of such systems are being developed for this type of energy generation.
You might wonder what blockchain, solar power, and peer-to-peer trading got to do with one another? Well, blockchain is the technology which enables network users to trade directly amongst themselves. And in our particular case, what they are trading is the energy resulted from solar panels.
Blockchain enables people to store and share information in digital format. The stored information cannot be copied or altered once recorded on the blockchain. You can think of it as a database capable of storing a high volume of information. Blockchain was initially developed to serve as the underlying technology of Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency.
This system poses many advantages, as consumers are able to buy the excess power of other users, while the users profit from selling their extra energy. Blockchain removes the need of third-party suppliers and brokers from the energy supply chain. Any user of the platform is able to trade their product themselves, simplifying the buying process for consumers that want a particular type of energy.
The second advantage resulted here would be that the energy prices offered here would be significantly cheaper than those from traditional suppliers.
Also, by using smart contracts the transactional process is completely decentralized, and both contract parties are able to trade transparently as all transaction requirements are met.
Regular energy supply contracts are rather complicated and come with a lengthy and time-consuming process. Blockchain makes things easier by letting users make bids or trade with their energy.
In addition, transactions would be settled instantly and in real-time, a process known as smart grid management.
How Are the Terms Set?
This system allows users to establish their own terms which brings them the most benefits. Consumers are able to set a price limit regardless of the source which doesn’t surpass 20c/kWh.
Producers can opt to sell electricity less or equal to that rate. But if there are no sellers, however, users will be required to buy at higher rates. Contracts for this type of energy trading can be set for any time frame, be it a few days or a few years.
Does the Amount You Generate Make a Difference?
How much you generate or consume does not influence your right to participate in P2P energy trading. Unlike the National Electricity Market which requires large energy amounts in order to participate, P2P trading allows both average home owners and power plants to offer their solar energy.
What Is a Prosumer?
A prosumer is a consumer that also produces a product. By using distributed energy resources (DERs), these prosumers can generate their own electricity, store it via battery technology and then sell it to others. As a result, the distribution process is less congested and the energy is supplied in a balanced manner.
Blockchain-Based P2P Energy Trading Projects
PowerLedger is one of the most known P2P energy trading projects in the blockchain space. Its platform was designed to offer support to a wide list of energy applications. It focuses primarily on the issues the global energy system is currently experiencing.
PowerLedger currently allows a large number of energy trading applications with some already in use. Some of these applications are: P2P trading, autonomous asset management, electrical automobile management, and distributed market management.
PowerLedger enables its users to freely trade energy and make a profit out of it. The platform’s native coin POWR, is a utility token that gives its holders access to its services. According to CoinMarketCap data, the token is currently priced at $0.107313 and can be purchased from a long list of exchanges, including Binance, Bittrex, Bithumb, Huobi, and Cryptopia.
The Decentralised Energy Exchange, shortened to “deX”, is an energy market joint project launched by ARENA and Greensync.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) supports an open marketplace which will enable trading of energy generated by solar panels and stored in batteries amongst its users.
Home consumers and businesses are able to generate and trade renewable energy amongst themselves, and they also reduce their overall grid consumption by using storing power in batteries at peak times.
Sonnen is a company based in German which specializes in manufacturing energy storage systems for home and small business use. The company changed the game when it comes to how electricity is stored and delivered.
SonnenFlat allows its users to take advantage of distributed battery storage and P2P trading. It relies on smart software to manage and control the energy supplied form its users, thus creating a self- sufficient virtual plant.
Blockchain technology has a great potential of reshaping and imposing many sectors, including that of solar energy trading. But at the moment, such applications are still in their early developmental phases. There is still much to be perfected so that blockchain can provide the proper support to a solid energy trading infrastructure. However, it cannot be denied that this technology will see many uses in this industry in the coming years.