Fast Take: Blockchain

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 17:10

Blockchain has the potential to democratize energy deregulation. It’s the natural next step in a process that started in the 1990s when the federal government separated electric generation, transmission and distribution. Companies are now building platforms on the blockchain that will allow anyone that generates electricity to become a third-party seller of power in the same deregulated marketplaces as third-party retail electricity and gas companies. Once electrons enter the power grid, they cannot be guided or tracked to a specific end user. As a result, buying electricity that is not physically connected to the end user is primarily a financial transaction, and the blockchain is designed to facilitate those at scale. This could allow revolutions in both financing new projects and mandating how end user’s energy budgets are spent, such as aggregating individuals on the blockchain to replace a conventional single-user PPA or allowing a single large user of power to satisfy its renewable commitments by purchasing directly from hundreds of small generators, like rooftop solar.