Blockchain is an innovative technology which is set to change the renewable energy industry. Essentially, blockchain works as a digital ledger which allows people to trade among themselves. In the context of energy, this means that transactions can take place on small scales with energy transferring when needed, and people can buy this energy straight from the provider, cutting out the need for large energy providers.
In turn, this means that it will be far easier for the National Grid to buy energy from these smaller providers opening up the energy market to microgrids from solar, wind and hydro producers. Communities will now be able to work together to build microgrids and blockchain technology will allow them to fairly distribute profits or energy produced between those who have helped build the grid. Moreover, businesses will need to hire knowledgeable professionals to manage this energy transfer and the profits it generates, meaning the blockchain also presents exciting career opportunities in the renewables sector.
The Brooklyn Microgrid Project by the company L03 is a good example of how this looks in context. Solar panels are mounted on 5 buildings in the project, and unused energy is then sold to the neighboring buildings. The buildings are connected to the grid but all the movement of energy and money is stored on a blockchain, which provides easy transfer between neighbours.
A smarter grid will mean that power is used more sustainably, the burden on power stations is alleviated, and communities can take an element of responsibility in the production of their own energy. For smaller off-grid microgrid projects, energy production can be managed efficiently. This will be especially useful in places without the option of connecting to the grid such as rural villages in Africa that currently rely heavily on solar power.
There will also be benefits for individuals as blockchain will help people manage their energy smarter and work towards the financial incentives of using less power which can be recorded easily and also understand individual environmental impacts. It is likely that energy companies will move into options that provide automated benefits for using energy sensibly. Whether for small companies or individuals, blockchain will make an impact on the renewables industry and the career opportunities available within it.
Blockchain technology is a solution which will empower the renewable energy to provide energy in an efficient and adaptive way. It’s essential that professionals going in to the renewable industry understand how and why this technology can be used.
For more information about the upcoming Blockchain for the Renewable Energy Industry training course, visit https://www.euenergycentre.org/training/blockchain-for-renewables-course/, email [email protected] or call 0131 446 9479.
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