Blockchain trials aim to revolutionise the power grid

August 31, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
Blockchain trials aim to revolutionise the power grid
Blockchain, the secure ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, is being used in several European trials to enable peer-to-peer transactions in the power grid.

Over 23 major European power operators are testing the technology this month to allow direct transactions. Power Ledger in Australia has also launched blockchain-based tokens to allow home owners to buy and sell power from their solar panels directly.

The technology allows secure transactions via an anonymised ledger so that the overall data on transactions is still available.

The Enerchain project from Ponton in Germany is building a blockchain-based exchange and includes operators such as Enel in Ital and RWE in Germany, as well as Vattenfall in Sweden and Tennet in Belgium.

A startup in Vienna called Grid Singularity is also using the technology for distributed power gird management, as is UK startup Electron.

Electron is part of a consortium led by EDF Energy R&D UK and including PassivSystems, Repowering London and University College London to test out a peer-to-peer local energy trading platform. The platform aims to allow residents in urban areas to source their energy from local renewables and trade that energy with their neighbours.

Power Ledger is offering the same capability with technology based on the Ethereum digital currency technology. Earlier this week it offered 100 million digital tokens to the public for at US 8.8c each which they will be able to use to buy and trade power. 90 million POWR tokens have already been sold to strategic partners and potential early adopters of the platform, including venture capitalist Bill Tai and Blockchain Capital, and 160 million will remain for the main Token Generation Event, to be priced by the market.

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