A group of people in Australia will trade their excess energy on solar panels using a blockchain to record the transactions.
The local Australian startup PowerLedger is in charge of the project in a retirement village in Busselton, Western Australia. The startup explores yet another use case for a burgeoning blockchain technology that proponents argue will revolutionize everything.
Residents on Australia’s west coast believe the blockchain cryptographically secure ledger, which records transactions made within a distributed system, could be combined with a power source that shines 300 days a year in Busselton: the sun.
PowerLedger cofounder Jemma Green had the idea to allow residents to, instead of merely selling excess energy back to the power company, trade it amongst each other.
“Consumers want to take control of their energy generation and consumption,” she says. “We want to show that this tech is so simple to use that anyone could use it.”
Simple Raspberry Pi mini-computers will be used to track a house’s energy usage. Homeowners can then create a market for their excess energy. For now, PowerLedger hopes a trial run can give them insight into what works and what does not work. The company wants to deploy in Perth and Victoria in 2017.
The Australia project, inspired by a similar project in Brooklyn by TransActive Grid, could be a precursor for similar projects on other continents.
“I think that there are going to be hundreds of blockchain energy companies springing up in the next couple of years,” says Lawrence Orsini, founder of LO3 Energy. “It’s going to be a really interesting time in the energy space.”
LO3 Energy is engaged in a proposal to develop a community microgrid in support of New York Governor Cuomo’s goal of creating local energy networks with the ability to separate from the larger electric grid during extreme weather events or other emergencies.
As a speaking English country, Australia has played a key role in the development of crypto-currencies; in particularly, its investigations into the dark web are of note. Last winter, the saga of Craig Wright put Australia at the center of the Bitcoin world: an Australian man claimed to be the founder of Bitcoin. He dragged his disclosure on for six months, claiming he would provide cryptographic proof – something he failed to do.
Featured image from Shutterstock.