Ever since the introduction of Blockchain technology, it has spread like wildfire among tech enthusiasts and finance experts alike. The noteworthy use of Bitcoin cryptocurrency in recent times has moved the scrutiny beyond the financial services industry. Back in 2011, one Bitcoin was priced at $1 and the technology that has made its value rise to $16,000 now is the ‘blockchain’.
Introduction to Blockchain
According to google dictionary, a blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly. All of the data is held in an interlinked network of computers, owned and operated by users. While banks deal with transactions in conventional currencies, a blockchain enables free transfer of cryptocurrency through a decentralised digital environment.
Still considered a bubble by many, the possibility of getting burst is minimal as the blockchain is predicted to grow exponentially over the next decade. The demand for Bitcoin is rising since the blockchain technology has proved to be more propitious than the cryptocurrency it was initially built to support.
Blockchain Technology in Energy
For consumers, tracking usage has always been a challenge that is often overlooked by grids. With the advent of IoT, renewable Energy providers have gained the upper hand in usage tracking and real-time troubleshooting. In some parts of the world, domestic as well as commercial consumers can now benefit out of blockchain-enabled transactive grids and track usage accurately.
Renewable energy is usually tracked through tradable certificates issued by the government that are greatly inaccurate and blockchain is the perfect error-free alternative to that. Being a peer-to-peer network database, blockchain features real-time distributed updation and is thus impossible to tamper with.
It serves as a tool to record digital transactions which are carried out using Bitcoin anonymously. Every transaction is validated by all the participants in the network on all of their computers. This ensures a high level of security and legitimacy for the transactional data.
Blockchain for Solar Energy
Apart from peer-to-peer energy transactions among neighbours, blockchain also guarantees that a consumer’s solar panels will deliver energy to the grid and charge batteries at the most convenient time. The blockchain app can analyze the most appropriate timing to deliver energy to the grid at the best price. In a case of urgency, if a consumer needs to charge an electric vehicle or any other electric device, the app will adapt in real-time without causing inconvenience.
Consumers, electricity grids and blockchain network operators benefit out of this process without the need for more space, time or investment in the technology. This will also cause Solar Energy prices to drop, making SolarCoin an asset to providers as well as consumers.
Benefits of SolarCoin
Since the solar energy market is growing and is expected to grow continuously with no consequences to the energy source, it will dominate the energy scenario all over the world soon. The International Energy Agency, an international organisation working on the clean energy transition predicted the global solar energy capacity to reach 5,000 GWp within the next 20 years. An agency called ElectricChain developed SolarCoin as a digital asset using Blockchain technology.
SolarCoin is designed to last for 40 years and provide incentives for generating 97,500 TWh of solar power. It is supported by 2 forms of proof of work; one of them is associated with cryptocurrency and the other one is associated with a meter-reading representing 1MW of solar power generated, which is verified by a third-party.
To reward and encourage solar power production, SolarCoin is distributed between both of the above proofs of work.
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