We’ve all heard those jokes about the undependable repairman – the one who says he’ll come to fix the problem sometime between 8 am and 6 am. On either Monday or Thursday. Maybe sometime in the next month. This is, unfortunately, the sad truth in much of the US utilities industry, in which solitary corporate entities span an entire market and are able to subject their customers to their own whims and indifference.
Problems in Traditional Energy Management
In the United States, the energy industry has long been monopolized by a few large players. Power companies are allowed to operate in a similar manner to other utilities industries such as water, gas, television, and Internet. Due to the lack of competition in their select local markets, these power companies are able to set their own policies and prices.
Oftentimes these policies and behaviors are at odds with the desires, or even the best interests, of their customers. However, there is no recourse or alternative for the customers if they are unhappy, since no competing companies exist in the market. This, in essence, flies in the face of the free market model.
Addressing Energy Management Problems with Blockchain
Because customers have no choice other than using the public grid or private intermediary for their energy needs, there are of course those looking for outside options. Applying blockchain devices to the power grid can allow more direct control for the consumers. Such integration would essentially section off a portion of the public grid with those using this blockchain.
This sectioned off blockchain group would be creating a p2p network within the public grid. Using distributed ledgers to keep track of their energy consumption and, in some cases, production, those in this p2p blockchain would be able to produce, sell, or buy electricity within their own grid independently of the private power company.
Companies Using Blockchain in the Energy Management Space
One company leading the way in blockchain application in the energy sector is TransActive Grid. The company tackles the problem on two fronts, or as they say, provides “a hardware and a software solution”. TransActive Grid’s hardware consists of pieces of technology placed in the participants’ physical buildings and, subsequently, become the nodes that make up the TransActive Grid blockchain.
TransActive Grid’s software then utilizes these nodes to record the electricity that is produced by, or sent through, any node in the blockchain. In addition to facilitating p2p transactions between individuals in the blockchain, it also does away with third-party audits by recording all usage data in blockchain’s signature distributed ledger. All of these systems working together amount to a complete and accurate record of electricity usage and accountability of both the users and any energy companies involved.
As blockchain technology continues to find successful use cases in specialized and niche industries, we at TraDove seek to unite these industries together in the B2B sphere. TraDove is developing its own proprietary B2B Blockchain Payment Network which utilizes a currency-pegged token to facilitate fair, secure and transparent B2B transactions around the world.