Jul 2018
Journal of Database Management

Breaking the Stagnant Spell: How Blockchain is Disrupting the Solar Energy Industry

Purpose: The energy sector has experienced insignificant growth over the past few decades, despite the global shift towards renewable resources. As Blockchain technology and the IoT begin to disrupt multiple industries, utilities and individuals are both presented with the opportunity to capitalize on the fastest-growing energy source. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the current pain points facing the solar power sector and discuss existing blockchain-based solutions to mitigate said issues. Approach: Online research and Internet-based resources were used to explore the potential use cases of blockchain to initiate the permanent shift of the energy industry towards renewable resources. Findings: The findings identified several blockchain-based applications such as smart metering, peer-to-peer trading, EV charging, renewable cryptocurrencies, wholesale trading and settlements, energy access, blockchain labs, and various decentralized energy applications. Results demonstrate the high potential for utility companies to benefit from this technology while also considering limitations of the applications. Discussion: It is likely to be over a decade before any significant progress is made in the renewable energy sector, which can be mainly attributed to the high cost of energy storage and the inability to conduct large-scale research-backed pilots. Value: There are several publications on blockchain and energy which focus on specific applications within the industry. This paper provides value through its comprehensive list of existing pain points in energy production, storage, and distribution, while also exploring the most prominent use-cases currently aiming to tackle these issues.
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Insolar Researchers

Henry Kim

Senior Research Fellow
Toronto, CA
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