Buy and sell energy with Blockchain

August 2019—I had heard from a colleague that Blockchain had sustainability applications but I was still, huh? I don’t get it. I know it’s used to track cryptocurrencies but how does it help sustainability?

Now there’s an application I can understand. Blockchain is being applied to the energy sector.

The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) today announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than 10 EWF Affiliates—including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers—are hosting validator nodes for the live network. In addition, EWF is currently tracking 17 decentralized applications (dApps) running on Energy Web test networks that are expected to transition to the live network over the coming weeks. This first wave of dApps focuses on creating customer and business value by expanding markets for renewable energy trading, increasing the effectiveness and depth of demand response programs, and streamlining electric vehicle charging.

Imagine a day when you’ve got an excess of solar power for a few minutes. Sell it to your neighbor who’s doing the dishes. Does the utility need to borrow some power from your electric car to handle peak load? If this works, Blockchain could let us buy and sell small quantities of power, facilitating community-scale renewable power systems.

Oh, now I get it.