Although blockchain has numerous applications, the majority, up until now, have been associated with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Energy is one of the more mainstream industrial sectors that is being increasingly associated with blockchain and now an Australian company has been using the technology to enable solar power sharing. The company’s latest peer-to-peer trading initiative is working to expand the renewable energy market in Japan.
This week Perth-based Power Ledger announced a partnership with Japan’s Sharing Energy Company. Power Ledger provides a blockchain-based tokenized energy trading platform while Sharing Energy is a provider of solar installations and equipment. The partnership’s initial pilot project will track renewable energy consumption from the solar panels of 100 individuals across the Kansai, Chubu and Kyushu regions.
According to a Power Ledger company blog, the project is expected to expand to around 55,000 Japanese rooftops by the end of next year.
In recent months, Power Ledger has also expanded into southeast Asia with the aim of revolutionizing renewable energy distribution systems while also reducing carbon footprints. Chairman and co-founder of Power Ledger, Dr Jemma Green, said the company is “proud of the work we are doing in Japan, and the strides we are making in democratizing energy across the globe.”
Green added that the partnership “is an exciting example of how our blockchain technology can make visions of implementing scalable, renewable energy solutions a reality for partners and communities worldwide.”
Post-Fukushima, Japan has said it will make renewable sources central to its energy supply mix. Power Ledger is already working with the country’s biggest privately-owned electricity retailer, Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO), on a Virtual Power Plant project that aims to assess and then redirect excess solar energy.
For the recently announced project, Sharing Energy will be receiving real time data from Power Ledger to facilitate peer-to-peer energy trading, between “social systems like apartment buildings or businesses” via existing smart meters. The pilot study will verify the feasibility and scalability of peer-to-peer energy trading in Japan and, says Sharing Energy, allow it to then go on to conduct research on energy transactions via Power Ledger’s blockchain-powered platform.
“As our country is reevaluating how people and businesses buy and sell energy, we are fortunate to be working with an established leader like Power Ledger,” added Emiko Koga, president of Sharing Energy.
Power Ledger has its own crypto token, POWR, to facilitate energy trading. Unfortunately it has not fared too well over the past year as digital currency markets have taken a battering. POWR is currently trading at around US$0.10, which is down almost 95% from its peak of $1.80 in January last year.