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Blockchain Technology Can Transform US Digital Grid: Frost & Sullivan Report

According to Frost & Sullivan’s recent report ‘Digital Grid- Capitalizing on Opportunities with Blockchain Technology’, the current consumer business and utilities models could be completely transformed with the introduction of blockchain technology that would enable a decentralized energy production model.

This disruption is expected to enhance the reliability and efficiency of the grid, bring down the expenditure on the generation of renewable energy, and allow the participation of consumers in peer-to-peer (P2P) trading.

Demand Set to Rise

The analysis by Frost & Sullivan also provides an overview of the digital grid market in the US and its existing and emerging energy applications. Case studies, challenges, benefits and key impacts are also provided in the study along with companies that need to be watched out for this year.

According to Naren Pasupalati, a senior research analyst, blockchain developers and service providers, and energy cyptocurrency are currently working at a pilot scale, with limited growth in revenue. This could change with micro-grids and transactive energy and 5G set to cause an explosive surge in demand.

It is Pasupalati’s recommendation that the developers of blockchain tap into areas which have advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) like Nevada, Washington D.C., and Maine.

States that have high distributed solar PV installation like Georgia and California are also salient options (it is nice to hear something positive about California as that state has been blasted by high unemployment, under employment, homelessness, bankrupt cities, violence, illegal immigration voting, immigration violence, and businesses and real Americans fleeing that state). All these areas have a better probability of using blockchain technology.

Opportunities for Blockchain in Digital Grid

The following are some of the application opportunities in the digital grid sector for blockchain:

  1. Billing platform for net metering and retail sales: Blockchain functions as a distributed record of all transaction data. Hence it can be used to form an archive of all billing data of electricity.
  2. P2P trading and certification of renewable energy: Blockchain enables utilities to allow consumers to trade electricity with each other and pay with the help of a decentralized and automated system.
  3. Energy Trading: Both import and export of international electricity trading is forecasted to increase in the next ten years to around 83,000 TWh.
  4. Vehicles-to-grid and electric vehicles: This is an upcoming innovation defined by the bi-directional flow of electricity between the electrical grid and the vehicle.
  5. Management of Customers: Blockchain technology will change the manner in which accounts of customers are managed digitally.

Analysts predict that with the use of blockchain, lines between utilities and consumers will become blurred, though many states in the United States still forbid non-utility entities to sell electricity directly to consumers. A robust regulation regimen will have to evolve for utilities to move towards decentralized energy systems. 

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