The renewable energy sector is growing at a rapid pace, with the United Nations estimating that the current number of power plants utilizing solar power is set to triple by 2030. While the most prominent example of this technology is photovoltaic panels, there are a number of different energy-generating methods that are being implemented on a large scale.
One such method is known as a blockchain. Blockchains operate through a system of independent computers that work together in order to solve problems and complete tasks, such as keeping track of financial transactions or storing data on a decentralized network.
The blockchain in utility-scale solar power operates in the same way, but instead of tracking financial transactions or personal information, it keeps track of the amount of electricity generated by each block. This means that with even only one individual using the blockchain system, all other individuals using that specific blockchain will have access to its entire history and can see exactly how much electricity has been produced at any point during the day.
Blockchains have proven incredibly helpful in situations where groups or individuals need to store information in an effective and secure way, but they’ve also led to new ways of thinking about renewable energy generation and storage. For instance, having an accurate record of how much energy each person or business has used means that those
In an enthusiastic tone: The blockchain is a decentralized database that keeps track of transactions in a way that’s public, secure, and verifiable. The technology has been applied to various industries in the hopes of making them more efficient—but how does it go from a concept to a real-life application? In the case of renewable energy, it starts with the blockchain platform Ethereum.
Blockchain for the Renewable Energy Industry
Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The blockchain is a transparent ledger that records transactions, and it’s accessible to anyone on the network. Each transaction is recorded in blocks, with each block linked to the previous block, creating a chain of transactions. These blocks are verified by peer-to-peer nodes, where each node verifies one or more of these blocks.
Blockchain makes verifying transactions secure because it removes the need for trust between parties. Because of this, blockchain can be used by renewable energy companies looking to track their carbon footprint and help reduce emissions.
The most notable example of this is Renewable Energy Blockchain Project (REB), which uses blockchain to track how much carbon dioxide was emitted during the production of electricity generated from solar panels or wind turbines. This kind of transparency could lead to a reduction in pollution, which would make renewable energy more appealing for consumers—especially if there were incentives like tax breaks or government subsidies for renewable energy that were tied to its carbon footprint.
REB isn’t alone in exploring the potential of blockchain for renewable energy—there are many other startups that are working on similar projects. In fact, some utilities are already experimenting with ways blockchain could improve their businesses. For example, Pacific Gas & Electric
A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. A blockchain can serve as an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.