What does reimagining our energy system look like?

Green Energy 2018

World Bank/Dana Smillie Sustainable energy.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: David Martin, Co-founder and Managing Director, Power Ledger

That carbon emissions from power generation are one of the leading causes of climate change is nothing new, nor is the fact that the proliferation of clean energy sources is key to fighting it.

In 2015, the UNFCCC Paris Agreement brought (almost) all nations into a common cause, outlining an ambitious effort to combat climate change. As part of this, measures by nations to implement domestic renewable energy production targets were ratified. They started down their respective paths to realizing their commitments through the development of predominantly large-scale wind and solar farms.

Gone are the days that renewable energy solutions are seen as just an act of corporate social responsibility. Significant reductions in renewable energy costs and maturing market and policy environments have also made them attractive sources of energy in their own right, presenting us with an opportunity to pivot away from traditional, carbon-intensive power generation.

We have arrived at a technological epoch where we are able to implement cost-effective renewables with software systems that can address the complexity of future electricity distribution across our networks. These two advances will be the catalyst towards the de-carbonization of our energy consumption.

But that’s not to say we should just build more low-carbon utility-scale solar and wind farms to limit the impacts of climate change. The old paradigm of energy access through grid extension alone is becoming obsolete, as bottom-up consumer demand is motivating millions of households to generate their own low-cost, clean energy.

However, these consumers-turned-prosumers are also becoming aware that defecting from the grid is becoming more cost-effective as regulatory frameworks once designed to protect end users are failing to present convincing reasons to stay connected.

At a grassroots level, a consumer-driven movement towards a distributed renewable energy future is already occurring. The energy industry must reflect on the emerging physical realities of a new energy paradigm – energy systems as a series of dynamic, integrated and distributed energy markets, with Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) playing an increasingly important and value-creating role at a distribution level.

Technological advances, particularly the emergence of digital peer-to-peer (P2P) systems, are redesigning the way we buy and sell energy by changing the nature of the agreements that support commercial transactions. This is unlocking the layers of value made available through DER integration into our electricity networks.

The value case for blockchain in this is that it is perfectly designed to implement distributed systems. It can be utilized to help manage the complex multiplicity of transactions required to transition towards these emerging distributed markets in a relatively seamless way.

They are able to function through the provision of data from advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and other sources. Using close-to-real-time data from smart metres and other sensing devices, each transaction that occurs between the layers of services in a distributed market can be immutably recorded on the blockchain, and the information relayed to the Distribution System Operator for system planning purposes, checks and balances.

If utilities embrace DERs, underwritten by a blockchain-based P2P platform, we can create an efficient, multi-agent distributed electricity system comprised of prosumers, consumers and networks trading energy across an ecosystem built on cheap, clean and reliable energy.

In this ecosystem, prosumers receive a better return on their renewable energy assets, while consumers get cheaper electricity. For the utilities, transmission and network costs become lower, grid extension requirements less frequent and their customers incentivized to remain connected.

For this solution to work, government and industry will be required to embrace a fundamental change in the way they perceive the energy sector, or else be presented with the scenario of mass defection from existing power systems, leaving billions of dollars of infrastructure at risk of economic obsolescence.

The time is ripe for decision-makers to reimagine the way we generate, buy and sell energy. DERs, underpinned by the blockchain, can be a driving force for tackling climate change and realizing our low-cost, low-carbon energy future.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The importance of exchanges for the medical students of the world

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

Brexit negotiations: Can May’s Britain bounce back?

France-Germany: Divided in Europe, USA united in…Iran

Technology is delivering better access to financial services. Here’s how

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

How will the EU face the migration crisis when the Turkish threats come true?

Draghi indirectly accuses Germany of using double standards in financial issues

‘Well-being of two million’ in Gaza at stake as emergency fuel runs dry: UN humanitarian coordinator

This AI can predict your personality just by looking at your eyes

G20 LIVE: The European Sting covers online world news and the latest developments at G20 from Antalya Turkey

“The Belt and Road Initiative should be mutually beneficial for EU and China and every participating country”, Vice-President Papadimoulis of the European Parliament underscores from European Business Summit 2018

The Monetary Union drives Europe into dangerous paths, CoR demands an EMU of regional content

Europe’s dirty air kills 400,000 people every year

A Sting Exclusive live from Brussels: Solheim’s consequential visit leading the world and the UN

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

Better air pollution data is helping us all breathe easier. Here’s how

Education expenditure in the EU not hurt much by crisis

South Sudan’s foreseen genocide: from “Never Again” to “Again and Again and Again”?

In Finland, speeding tickets are linked to your income

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

Horse meat runs faster than authorities…

As Saudi women take the wheel, UN chief hopes end of driving ban creates more opportunities for kingdom’s women and girls

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

Eurozone recession subsides

What have the banks done to the markets making them unable to bear cheap oil?

Banks promise easing of credit conditions in support of the real economy

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Deeper reforms in Germany will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

Catalan Pro-Independence vote: how many hits can Brussels sustain at the same time?

A Trumpist squad shook Davos and the world

Where is Egypt leading the Middle East and the Mediterranean economy?

The US bugged Europe: Is this news?

EU-wide rules for safety of drones approved by European Parliament

Migration crisis update: The “Habsburg Empire” comes back to life while EU loses control

It’s Trump’s anti-globalization and inward-looking rhetoric that perturbs GOP and US

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

The fat from your next takeaway meal could help clean up global shipping

China is adding a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Act now to end violence, Zeid urges Nicaraguan authorities

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century: an equity unachieved

US and Mexico child deportations drive extreme violence and trauma: UNICEF

Israel @ MWC14: Israel The Start App Nation

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

This Syrian national has been trapped at Kuala Lumpur airport for 3 months

Draghi: Germany has to spend if Eurozone is to exit recession

Who can compel Wallonia to unlock CETA, the EU-Canada free trade pack?

Cryptocurrency mining could become the new face of energy storage. Here’s how

Switzerland to favour EU citizens in immigration quotas as the risk of a new referendum looms

This is what you need to know about the Iran nuclear deal

OECD sees global growth moderating as uncertainties intensify

Humanitarian visas to avoid refugees’ deaths

Eurozone: There is a remedy for regional convergence

How robotics can help humanitarians bridge the digital divide

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s