• 9 mins Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 6 hours Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 11 hours British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 15 hours Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 17 hours Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 18 hours Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 19 hours OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 20 hours London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 21 hours Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 24 hours Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 1 day India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 1 day Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 2 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 2 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 2 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 3 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 3 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 3 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 3 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 3 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 3 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 3 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 3 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 3 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 4 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 4 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 4 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 4 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 4 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 4 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 6 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 7 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 7 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 7 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 7 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 7 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 7 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 8 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 8 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
Alt Text

Unusual Ruling Could Impact Cheap Solar Panel Imports

The U.S. International Trade Commission…

Alt Text

Solar Costs Are Dropping Much Faster Than Expected

The U.S. Department of Energy…

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

More Info

What Bitcoin And Solar Have In Common

Solar

Bitcoins do not magically appear out of nowhere. Each one is “mined” in a blockchain process that eats enough electricity to power an American household for 1.57 days.

This process is what gives the coins their value. The work involved in the creation of the smart contracts gives cryptocurrencies the authority to be used to buy items – a privilege ordinarily left to governments and treasuries.

If bitcoins are the currency of the future, its miners must consume electricity that does not overthrow the global carbon budget. This revolution must be powered by renewables, and blockchain techniques themselves could provide the impetus for this level of control over energy flows.

“Imagine you’re growing a whole lot of tomatoes, but you can’t trade them over the fence with the neighbor for their zucchinis – you’ve got to go to the supermarket to sell to them and buy from them,” said David Martin, CEO of the Australian firm Power Ledger. “That’s the situation in energy markets now – we want to change that.”

Currently, private households that have solar panels on their roofs can sell back their excess energy to the local or regional grid that is most easily accessible to them. They earn back a low rate per kilowatt hour by selling to the utilities companies, but offering the extra power to other homes in a peer-to-peer network would generate higher returns. The process would incentivize the adoption of solar power and raise energy capacity at the same time.

To keep track of the trades, Martin says the platform would use a proof-of-stake algorithm, analogous to the proof-of-work formula at work in bitcoin mining operations.

Related: Will Oil Inventories Continue To Fall Over The Summer?

“Using the [modified] blockchain brings more transparency, including on data exchanged. It uses the fraction of energy of conventional blockchain. Proof-of-stake is ideally suited for energy,” Martin told the Guardian.

The system would use smart meter data and existing infrastructure to make the new energy market a competitive alternative to fossil fuel-based power, which tends to be limited by a physical production rate, rather than by computer power.

“Yes, I believe that proof-of-stake blockchain applications can validly compete with other non-blockchain based solutions in energy trading,” he says. “Peer-to-peer energy trading is nascent, notoriously difficult to manage and blockchain solutions might be useful.”

Innovations in the policy landscape will necessary to allow blockchain-based energy to thrive.

“The system was designed at a time when regulators didn’t contemplate distribution and storage, let alone customers trading among themselves – everything is set up for a system of generating power a long way away from a centralized source,” Martin said.

Currently Power Ledger’s experiment is limited to a 500-site test in Auckland, New Zealand, via a partnership with the island nation’s largest power provider. The blockchain’s scope is limited geographically so far, but a supportive legal and solar infrastructure could bring this new concept to the forefront of the grassroots energy trading landscape.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • TW on July 27 2017 said:
    Your article implies that mining costs enough electricity to power 1.57 homes for a day. It is not the mining process that costs 1.57 home days of electricity - it is the buy or sell transaction using Bitcoins. Mining Bitcoins costs a lot more energy than what is needed to power 1.57 homes for a day.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News