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Monday, 20 April 2018 08:88

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Peer to Peer (P2P) Energy Trading

P2P Energy Trading is the future of the Energy market, be it Residential or Commercial energy!

Peer to Peer energy generators

A system with solar and energy storage, will greatly increase your Energy Security!

As such, more people are talking about Peer-to-Peer (P2P) energy trading. P2P Energy Trading is a new concept currently being tested by several companies in Australia, the Australian company Power Ledger is one of the world leaders in this type of Energy distribution.

P2P Trading allows the sale of private or community owned energy generators & storage sites, to sell there energy directly to consumers, and the people that own/invest in the energy systems that produce more energy than they consume or need, will be able to sell there energy at a rate that is privately agreed upon between the Generator & Consumer.

Obviously, P2P aggregators sell their excess energy for profit, where solar energy and other renewable energy will automatically include Energy/Battery Storage, and even large commercial 10MW~250MW Thermal energy storage units like 1414°, can all sell there stored energy at Peak demand times at a better kWh rate.

As the Australian energy sector adjusts to the current National transformations underway, it is a logical development in the new rising economy, which will see smart cards being used to pay for energy in places like Housing/Accommodation, like AirBnB, Motorhome/Caravan parks, Car charging stations, and all sorts of Residential & Commercial outlets, with Person to Person transactions, rather than the current large energy Retailers price gouging consumers, as things are currently with the deceptive named energy Retailers.

Current status of P2P Energy Trading

Progress with peer-to-peer trading has been slow. However, recently several trials in the residential market have been successful, partially because there is no need for funding.

On the one hand, regulated network tariffs mean there are little benefits to local energy trading. On the other hand, there were low levels of installed & controllable distributed energy resources, which makes it hard for solution providers to provide value to their customers, again Power Ledger is leading the way in Australia.

P2P Energy Trading is currently supported by BlockChain Technology.

BlockChain is a decentralised ledger technology.  When applied to the energy sector, it enable people to trade energy among themselves. Where people can generate their own energy from Renewable Energy Sources (RES's) in dwellings, offices and factories, solar farms, and share it with each other locally.

Tokenising renewable energy allows Solar, Wind and Hydro energy producers to seamlessly connect with investors, who are willing to pay upfront for the right to consume renewable energy.

As P2P energy trading involves a large number of transactions between Traders and Consumers, it is technology that allows for low-cost authentication, validation and settlement while protecting privacy.  One of the most promising technologies to enable this is 'blockchain', a distributed ledger technology.  Blockchain is mostly known as the technology supporting distributed trading such as Bitcoin, and has strong support in the banking sector.

With blockchain, transactions are stored in virtual blocks, which are connected together in a chain. A complete history of all transactions that have ever occurred within a particular network is retained.  Blockchain technology can offer a cryptographically secure, distributed ledger that can track where electricity was generated, where it can travel to and who used it.

There is no question about where a kWh came from and how it was produced.  The technology is said to be transparent and secure, and does not require a central entity to store and manage shared data and business process.

Blockchain will also make it easier for new and smaller players to be involved, right down to the individual solar household.

There are online Collage courses to train people wanting to get involved it several facets of the Block-chain revolution, we totally believe Block-Chain has the potential to be/do what the internet did 20 years ago!

2019 Blockchain-based P2P Trials

In September 2019 Block-chain technology allow households and businesses using Power Ledger platform to trade or share locally generated electricity with each other was trialled in the Bush at Wongan Hills, WA, this is the first regional application of the technology where commercial buildings will trade excess solar between each other.

Most other forms of energy trading are heading down the Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pathway like AGL's VPP in South Australia or Origin's VPP in Victoria. However, like the blockchain trials, these solutions are not widespread and involve mostly the residential sector.

Advantages of P2P Trading;

  • Energy does not have to be transmitted from distant power plants, reducing electricity transmission costs.
  • Energy generation can be based on renewable clean energy production & storage.
  • Energy can be bought from a known source, which allows you to claim energy from a specific project.
  • Energy costs can be lower for the buyer.
  • No middle man – generators & customers can make direct deals on their own terms.
  • The financial return to generators will be better than any current feed-in rate.
  • There is choice and transparency in dealing with other consumers.
  • Block-chain software is used for payments is very secure.
  • Everyone saves money.

Barriers to P2P trading

Several barriers exist to P2P trading at present, and it is not known at what time these will be overcome, so that consumers can begin to participate and benefit from renewable energy.

Some of the main barriers include;

  • Not yet commercialised.
  • Immature market for solutions.
  • Multiple stakeholders that need to be convinced of the business case. (e.g. retailers)
  • Regulatory barriers.

We still see one of the key Regulatory road blocks to a fairer nation wide energy supply, is the "Supply charge to the Property", commonly upwards of $80 quarter ($20 month) for all Residential consumers, not to mention commercial supply.

BitCoin: (The Fake Money)

While Bitcoin's future is still highly speculative, there is a need to differentiate between Bitcoin and Blockchain, Bitchain is the technology that underpins Bitcoin. Blockchain is essentially a distributed database of records or public ledger of all transactions that have been executed and shared among participating parties, the banking institutes commonly use Bitchain as it is apparently a very secure technology.

Beyond all the Froth & Bubble of the emerging P2P technology, with the dramatic drop in cost for Solar modules & Battery storage, DAT solar trackers are the BEST method of harvesting solar energy.

The smallest DAT-4 unit fitted with 500W solar modules (panels) will harvest up to 22kWh/p day, and a DAT-8 unit will harvest up to 44kWh/p per day, these DAT can Cut the State Grid out of the picture totally!   Simply because DAT units harvest more energy than any other type of Solar Racking, Energy/Battery storage simply eliminates consumers paying for energy between Sunset to Sunrise.

If our politicians & bureaucratic regulators waste more time talking about "Energy Security" than promoting the uptake of P2P energy trading, only those with the vision that invest in "independent Micro Power Grids" will leave the majority of the population behind in the coming years!

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