4 Reasons To Revolutionize Energy Thanks To The Blockchain
My previous article announced the color. When I mentioned the reasons why not all companies needed a blockchain, I talked about sectors that could be revolutionized by the blockchain. Among them was the energy sector.
Key sector par excellence, whose importance grows with the disadvantages of fossil fuels and the advent of renewable energies, the energy sector must be reformed in depth . Problem, this desirable reform is most often blocked by economic interests more or less convincing. The direct consequence is the difficult implementation of the energetic transition and the complete lack of renewable energy in needy countries .
What is the blockchain doing in there, will you tell me? How could this technology revolutionize the energy sector? A highly regulated sector, the blockchain would perfectly accompany an opening and an almost personalization of the supply and consumption of energy . In addition, it would promote clean energy and allow everyone, without distinction, to have access to electricity.
The energy sector must benefit from the recent opening of self-consumption in France
In France, some will tell you that the opening of the sector to competition is already a modernization in itself . That would make you smile when you see the revolution that blockchain technology would bring about.
We may not know it, but if we “self-sustain” our production, the resale of our personal overproduction of unused electricity was completely closed before spring 2017 . A decree gave a legal framework to what is known as collective self – consumption .
Prior to this decree, the practice of collective self-consumption remained prohibited in France. Surprising as it may seem, if you produce electricity and want to sell the surplus, the state could be the only purchaser! With this legal framework offered by the collective self-consumption, the sector has opened and you have the possibility to sell your self-generated electricity to your neighbor.
However, this openness can not overshadow the difficulty to put into practice this collective self-consumption : source of energy to use, how to secure and record resales, how to protect data, etc. It could be a real headache! This is where blockchain technology comes in .
Blockchain as the basic technology of nanogrids or smart grids
TransActive Grid has realized the incredible potential offered by the blockchain for the energy sector. We are talking about smart grids . Collective self-consumption is greatly facilitated by blockchain technology. I will try to describe briefly how this type of network works .
Thanks, in most cases, to photovoltaic panels, four houses close together and belonging to the same district each produce their own electricity . It is also very important to note that the owners have acquired batteries powerful enough to be able to store their production and consume it, for example, at night. In fact, homeowners do not need to use any electricity supplier . Beyond self-consumption, these owners would like to be able to exchange any surplus electricity . An innovative activity but oh so complex to put into practice.
Thanks to the blockchain, all this is simplified. The technology makes it possible to record the exact consumption data of each house . Potential production surpluses are also recorded and distributed to homes that need it most. Everything is perfectly optimized and transactions carried out automatically after agreement of the owners concerned . The dream ? This already exists as seen previously and projects land in France .
Of course, not everything is rosy : improved production capacity of panels and storage of batteries, cost of photovoltaic installation, more psychological than legal barrier to do without intermediaries, management of data collected … Breaking these barriers seems necessary for smart grids to become the norm in developed countries.
The blockchain as a boon for some isolated or developing places
If I spoke of developed countries in the previous paragraph, it is not a coincidence . Indeed, smart grids can especially revolutionize access to electricity in developing countries or places completely isolated .
In our day, hundreds of millions of people do not have access to something as essential as electricity. The causes are multiple : lack of means, places or islands completely isolated even corruption. As a result, these people live in very difficult conditions, not to mention that the lack of electricity is not the only difficulty they face.
The introduction of a smart grid might be the answer to some of these difficulties . On the one hand, most of these people without electricity live in sunny areas all year round. On the other hand, installation in these poorly urbanized areas is less complex than in cities. Above all, the arrival of electricity would greatly expand the village, neighborhood or island. While, apart from a cleaner energy, the arrival of a smart grid would not change much in Paris.
This is how Solshare set up a smart grid in Bangladesh . While there were some limitations, this initiative proves that these networks are very useful in developing countries . And even if the blockchain was not the central technology of the project. The blockchain can only improve the installation of these networks.
The end of the dependence on fossil energies favored by the blockchain
Smart grids can also look beyond the small neighborhood or isolated island . Indeed, many states remain dependent on neighbors for the supply of electricity . However, fossil fuels such as coal or nuclear almost exclusively supply. With the introduction of smart grids everywhere, the state completely or almost eliminates its energy dependence. But it also greatly promotes the emergence of renewable energies.
Fossil fuels are not very compatible with smart grids . The network being tightened on a simple neighborhood, it is difficult to find an oil field every kilometer! More seriously, the development of smart grids associated with blockchain technology will significantly reduce the dependence on fossil fuels , which will be a good thing for everyone except the tankers … unless they are renewed .