With solar power scaling rapidly and pressures to provide greener energy sources growing, there is an increasing market for energy trading. The new Power Sharing blockchain platform backed by Japanese energy and technology companies has been launched with the goal of reducing carbon emissions.
The current grid systems
The current systems in place do provide a basic means for selling energy back to the grid but is lacking in scalability for creating a more complex market among the general public.
Centralized systems today suffer from a slow movement of data. After power is generated, a record of meter readings is stored and then transferred to a registry provider. Certificates have to be created, exchanged and verified between several parties. Blockchain provides a decentralized solution with the data instantly accessible by all parties with the ability to program smart contracts to initiate a trade.
Solar power growth
Global solar capacity has more than trebled in the past four years and until there are more efficient storage methods, excess potential power generating isn’t being properly utilized.
2016’s growth in solar energy in China was 34.5 GW and the US measured at 14.7 GW, totaling two-thirds of the global increase in solar capacity. Japan, providing an 8.6 GW gain, was the third largest expansion in the industry.
Worldwide in 2016, there was a step-up of 75 GW, taking global solar power production to 301 GW by the end of the year. Global adoption of renewables is on the rise and as the ways in which we distribute and produce power change, there is an opportunity to do the same for the supporting systems.
A blockchain market platform for energy trading
The blockchain community feels it has a part to play in the upcoming change. GTM Research has tracked 122 energy-based-blockchain startups, with 22 focused on peer-to-peer trading.
A blockchain system could bring the concepts of sharing power with a distant friend or relative, creating regional power, the ability for PAYG electricity, and of selling electricity competitively.
A new system could enable people to use electricity they have produced themselves at various locations. Prices could dictate the choice of the electricity source, with people opting for greener options.
Power Sharing hopes to incentivize the occupants of Japan to invest in clean energy sources to benefit from customer-to-customer trading. More efficient power management by selling excess capacity will lead to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.