Blockchain for Energy Consumers
The energy industry always adopts new technology at an early stage. As renewable initiatives grow and more capital flows into energy grid reinvention, companies are seeking technologies that can boost efficiency while cutting costs. They are looking for technological solutions. In addition, consumers are better informed about the source of energy, and many are turning to more sustainable or cost-effective options for their communities.
According to Market Map research, over $300 million in investment in blockchain energy start-ups have been invested over the last two years and in unveiled investment rounds even more. This number may skyrocket as more companies start to recognize blockchain's potential energy applications. Blockchain is particularly adapted to the latest demand for decentralized and community-based grids. Blockchain has been designed to operate, facilitate, and verify transactions as a distributed node network. It is, therefore, the ideal technology to assist small energy producers and home producers in exchanging surplus energy, saving it for peak use and reducing community total energy costs.
In the peak periods, Fujitsu has developed a blockchain electricity exchange system and contributes towards a stable supply of electricity via energy control. Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. have used blockchain technology to develop an energy scarcity and surplus trading system for power users, including factories and retail stores. Demand response (DR) is a system in which power utilities and electricity consumers cooperate to control the electricity used over expected high demand periods. However, a problem is that the success rate for the DR controls can be low and consumers cannot meet the demand for electrical power savings. Fujitsu has now developed a system where electricity consumers can efficiently exchange electricity surpluses produced by themselves or through energy savings. The company then applied blockchain, which was used in a simulation using the real electricity consumption data, together with ENERES Co., Ltd. It resulted in an improvement in the DR success rate of about 40 percent.
Fujitsu is an RE100 member which aims for companies to use 100 percent renewable energy for their electricity consumption and is implementing measures to build a carbon-free society. In order to be commercialized in fiscal 2019, the company conducts verification of the system in a real-world setting.