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Peer to Peer (P2P) Energy Trading

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Milestones in the energy world are being achieved at would could be called breakneck speeds these last few years. In an industry that was resistant to change yet has delivered quite admirably on its promises of reliability and resilience here in the U.S. Ask a utility veteran just a few years back if they thought they’d be living in a world were residential solar panels financed through power purchase agreements would be just as easy to setup as your last vehicle's lease through power purchase agreements and surely this would have come as a big surprise.

In the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, another energy milestone in is in the works. Australian blockchain firm Power Ledger has been chosen to help Uttar Pradesh’s Power Corporation (UPPCL) to introduce blockchain technology. The technology will enable P2P trading of solar energy in India. With India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) coordinating the effort and Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) as the first regulatory body in the world to approve P2P blockchain trading for solar rooftop energy, there could be some valuable insights in the pipeline on how to roll out the system on a larger scale. According to Power Leger, ISGF will pilot the project in coordination with UPPCL with a very narrow focus: for a few select government buildings with rooftop solar.

Blockchain technology has wide applications and the energy market is but one of them. P2P blockchain trading of energy remains in its infancy and a key question for larger rollouts is how the trading will be regulated. Net metering, with all its challenges in acceptance and regulation might provide some parallels for the P2P energy trading market. In the same vein, the long list of open questions and regulatory challenges that net metering still faces, would surely apply to P2P energy trading platforms and approaches including how trades would be made, what quantities trades could be made at, would energy traded be purchased at the same price that utilities charge and more. From nearly any vantage point however, blockchain is hear to stay and further exploration is needed to see how it can benefit energy markets. For this reason, pilot programs like those of Power Ledger become all the more worthwhile.

 

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