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Affluent Bangkok Community Uses Blockchain to Exchange Energy

Residents of an affluent Bangkok neighborhood have been trialing a blockchain platform that allows them to exchange renewably sourced electricity with one another.

The firms involved with the project claim that it is one of the world’s biggest blockchain platforms providing users with peer-to-peer renewable energy services; the total generating capacity of the platform totals 635 KW. It operates within the Bangkok city energy grid with right now just a mall, school, dental hospital and an apartment complex taking part but commercial operations are planned to start next month.

David Martin is the managing director of Australian firm and partner of the project, Power Ledger. Speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Martin said that by enabling the community in Sukhumvit to trade and meet their own energy needs, the outcome will be cheaper bills for buyers, better selling prices and arguably most importantly, a reduced carbon footprint.

Consumers are incentivized to only use electricity that is necessary as they can sell unused supplies instead. The costs of switching to renewable energy through this process are also offset by users selling what they don’t need. If there is an energy surplus from all four locations currently taking part, it will be sold to local suppliers.

Gloyta Nathalang, a spokeswoman for Thai renewable energy firm BCPG that handled the installation for the project said that the future scope for renewables is endless: “There are opportunities everywhere – not just in cities, but also in islands and remote areas where electricity supply is a challenge.”

The World Energy Council has predicted that decentralized energy supply solutions such as this will expand to take over a quarter of the market in 2025 from just a 5% stake that it holds right now. The Bangkok Metropolitan Electricity Authority agrees with this, itself predicting that peer-to-peer energy trading will be mass-adopted in the long term.

Thailand aims to have 30% of total energy consumption renewably sourced by 2036, encouraged by the country’s energy ministry that is currently pushing for a reduction of fossil fuel use and new legislation to permit energy trading.

 

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