A Perth-based peer-to-peer power trading company, Power Ledger, has installed an energy-trading platform at a multi-unit residence in White Gum Valley, as part of a Curtin University-led research project. Power Ledger allows investors and people and organisations with solar panels to sell that electricity directly to others – without the need for a retailer. They can decide who they want to sell their surplus energy to and at what price.
Power Ledger allows for each unit of electricity to be tracked from the point of generation to the point of consumption within the building it is generated, or when sold to other consumers, using the local electricity distribution network. Using Blockchain technology, the tracked energy transaction is coupled with a financial one making it easy to monetise the surplus energy that's generated.
"Residents in this development can now trade the electricity generated on their rooftop, and stored on batteries in their garage without the need for an energy retailer", said Jemma Green, co-founder and Chair of Power Ledger, in a press release.
This is the sharing economy – but for energy. If models like these become the norm in the mass market, they could drive a huge rollout of microgeneration, large scale storage and other technologies. Rather than energy being transported miles across countries and borders, most energy could be generated, traded and used locally.