We are privileged to live in an era where renewable, clean energy sources are a very real option. Over eight in ten people globally now believe that the world should be powered completely from renewable sources. Still, nearly all of our main sources for energy originate from fossil fuels, coal, and natural gas with renewables accounting just for 3%. Though renewable and green sources are out there, most people simply do not have the choice to go green where their energy needs are concerned.
More than one in four people believe that it’s up to individuals to take the lead on energy issues. From recycling to avoiding plastic straws, many environmentally-aware practices are second nature to us. Unfortunately, for many individuals this is all they can do. Utility-structured electricity prevents most consumers from being able to choose their power sources and they are instead forced to purchase from utility monopolies. Corporations are able to exercise total monopoly over energy generation, distribution, and everyone’s favorite, billing. With the cost prohibitive nature of solar panels and wind turbines for personal use, what are consumers to do? The answer may lie within blockchain.
The same tech behind cryptocurrency, blockchain has made some surprising moves among other industries as well. Next up on the disrupt list is the energy industry. A concept known as a blockchain smart grid is the potential foundation for a consumer-based energy market. Much like how cryptocurrency is a consumer-based exchange market, the same principles of buying, selling, and trading can be applied to energy demands.
Capable of tracking a network of electricity generation, customers will have the option to choose the greenest options within their price range. Computer modeling works to forecast demand, increase efficiency and needless waste, and lower the costs.
Energy rates of regulated monopolies like power companies are controlled by state governments in the United States, though elsewhere corruption can cause major unexplained rate hikes. Consumers have little say in where their power is coming from regardless of where they live. With the blockchain smart grid however, peer-to-peer sharing gives consumers the option to see where there energy is coming from and has the potential to help encourage more saturated usage of clean energy sources. After all, if clean energy sources were available to you, wouldn’t you take an opportunity to use them?
As technologies both digital and environmental continue to develop, accessibility and reliability of clean energy will grow and become available to everyone. Take a look at this infographic for more on the current state of energy demands, the monopoly of power companies, and how blockchain could revolutionize the power grid.