As blockchain technology and cryptocurrency take the world’s economies by storm, a neighborhood in Bangkok is trying out a blockchain-based system that will allow residents to trade renewable energy amongst each other.
Sukhumvit, an upscale neighborhood in Thai capital Bangkok, is currently testing a blockchain-based system that will allow residents to buy and sell renewable energy directly to each other.
The idea behind the blockchain-based system is to generate energy from four different locations that will in turn be used to power a residential building in the T77 area in Sukhumvit. Once residents consume a sufficient amount of energy, excess energy can be sold to others through a trading system.
When operations begin next month, the blockchain-based system will be able to generate up to 635 kilowatts which, transferred through the Thai electrical grid, can be traded between a hospital, mall, apartment complex, and a school. If the four sites generate a surplus, the excess energy can then be sent to a storage system and, in the future, returned to the local energy grid.
David Martin, managing director of Power Ledger, spoke with Reuters about the benefits of installing a P2P blockchain-based trading platform in Bangkok. Through the platform, Martin believes that “the community [will meet] its own energy demands, leading to lower bills for buyers, better prices for sellers, and a smaller carbon footprint for all.” He went on to say that he believes the benefits of a blockchain-based system will encourage consumers to switch to renewable energy.
Blockchain technology has been on the rise in urbantech communities from American to African cities. The technology, which is the basis of the Bitcoin currency, allows communities like Sukhumvit to handle dynamic transactions between consumers, producers, traders, and utilities with ease. For T77, it will facilitate sending and receiving energy through the new system.
The World Energy Council estimates that energy systems similar to that being set up in Bangkok will make up close to 25 percent of the world economy by 2025, according to Reuters. The spread of the system to places like Thailand suggests how the fact that solar panels are getting cheaper could be encouraging more cities to use blockchain-based systems. Currently, close to 15 percent of Thailand’s energy comes from renewable energy. The Thai government, however, is looking to double that number by 2036.