Across the world, innovative technology powered by blockchain is been designed to help tackle contemporary challenges people face. Just recently, an engineering firm Verv has completed the first UK’s energy trade using blockchain technology as part of electric power regulator Ofgem’s Sandbox initiative.
The Ofgem’s Sandbox was carried out to test innovative services and business models not possible under current energy regulations. During the test, surplus renewable power generated by a community’s solar power farm at the Banister Housing Estate in Hackney, a London district, was sent to a nearby residential building using the blockchain technology.
The blockchain energy sharing technology was developed by Verv, a United Kingdom-based startup that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to monitor smart home’s energy usage to help residents manage their energy consumption more efficiently. This new technology works on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis in which residents or community sell their excess electricity.
During the test conducted in Hackney’s Banister House Estate, 1kWh of excess renewable energy was successfully traded to the next building block in the thirteen block estate, with all the buildings installed with their own solar panels array. Verv wants to enable residents to use local renewable energy sources to lower their energy bills, thereby creating “a fully empowered, almost self-sustaining community” in terms of electricity consumption.
An unnamed Banister House community member disclosed that prior to the system kicking off, the residents have been unable to take advantage of the solar panels on the roofs to power their homes due to the way the UK’s electric market is structured. The resident also noted that “With the installation of our Verv smart hubs, we are being empowered to generate, store and trade our own community energy and I’m really excited to see how this trial evolves. It’s safe to say energy costs are very high and it’s important, more now than ever, that solutions be sought.”
The blockchain energy trading technique has been receiving positive feedback from residents of the estate as savings made on their energy bills is expected to increase significantly as most of the residents are on pre-pay meters. This has prompted the Chief Executive Office at Verv, Peter Davies to disclose that his firm is pleased to implement such technology at the Hackney’s Banister House Estate and that he hopes to “empower the residents to innovate and create their own trading community.” Peter Davies also revealed that following the success of the test, Verv is planning on implementing the energy trading technology across the UK and in turn globally.