April 23, 2019 Feature

Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading and Blockchain: The Future of Distributed Energy Resources

Jennifer E. Gardner

Motivated by concerns over climate change, energy security, and grid resiliency, public policy support for renewable energy has increased dramatically in recent years. Wind and solar power are expected to provide over 10 percent of global electricity supply within the next five years, further diminishing the traditional dominance of fossil fuels in our energy mix. David Livingston et al., Applying Blockchain Technology to Electric Power Systems 2 (2018). Meanwhile, the widespread dissemination of smart meters and inverters, along with other infrastructure upgrades, is making the grid more intelligent. An increase in smaller scale renewables on the distribution grid has coincided with a desire for greater customer choice that would allow for less dependence on the monopoly utility, a greater say in the type of resources used to generate the electricity powering one’s home, and increased visibility into––and control over––one’s energy use.

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