U.S. Senate Discusses Potential Use Cases of Blockchain in the Energy Sector
According to an official announcement published on August 21st, the U.S. Senate held a special hearing where it discussed the potential use cases, advantages, and energy efficiency of blockchain technologies.
Additionally, the hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee in Washington, DC, also touched on the cybersecurity possibilities of using blockchain technologies in the energy industry. One major topic that was discussed was the issue of increasing electricity prices following the rising power demand of blockchain apps.
At the hearing, Thomas A. Golden, a program manager at Electric Power Research Institute, reported that the institution’s research on blockchain determined that the said technology might be the answer towards enabling transactive energy. One of the most interesting aspects of EPRI’s research is the launch of the development of a blockchain-based energy market simulator.
This was possible thanks to the UBIG, Utility Blockchain Interest Group, that consists of 40 energy companies that are interested in the blockchain tech.
Various speakers contributed with their perspective
Arvind Narayanan, an associate professor of computer science at Princeton University was also among the speakers and has shared his thoughts on the matter.
“A blockchain-based market might be more attractive than a centralized trading platform if market participants are averse to a single company controlling the platform. Other initiatives enable customers to directly trade electricity with each other in a ‘peer to peer’ fashion, for example, by buying and selling excess rooftop solar power. However, peer-to-peer trading still requires the cooperation of utilities who ultimately control the physical flow of electricity,” he declared.
The professor also touched on the potential benefits of blockchain when it comes to cybersecurity stating that blockchain brings forth various benefits of tackling the risks usually associated with cybercrime. He also pointed out that “policymakers should view it as one of several possible technical tools for addressing energy cybersecurity.”
The potential uses of blockchain tech in the energy sector were also pointed out by Claire Henly, managing director at Energy Web Foundation. According to Henly, blockchain can indeed make energy markets a lot more efficient, even though there are still various technical challenges that need to be addressed until blockchain can contribute at a large scale.