National Centre for Energy Systems Integration

Cross - EDI

Dr Cross

School of Social and Political Science, Edinburgh University

Project Title

Peer to Peer trading in the real world and exploring the potential of blockchain technologies in integrated energy systems

Principle Investigator:

Dr Cross                 University of Edinburgh

Project Team:

Professor Abram      Durham University

Professor Flynn        Heriot-Watt University

Dr Robu                  Heriot-Watt University

Ms Andoni               Heriot-Watt University

Project Partners:

Siemens Energy Management
Enzen
Upside Energy

Project Summary:

The promise and potential of peer to peer trading in electricity has generated significant interest, hype and investment worldwide. To date, however, there have been few attempts to examine how high profile pilot projects actually play out in the real world or how peer to peer trading practices might fit into an integrated energy system. This project sets out to fill gaps in our current knowledge and understanding through ethnographic studies of peer to peer electricity trading systems in the Netherlands and Bangladesh.

This proposal explores the role of blockchains can play in an integrated community energy system. Based on real case study communities, we see how blockchain-enabled smart contracts between prosumers (often neighbours in the same community) can enable peer-peer energy exchanges, removing the need for intermediation by large utility companies. Ultimately this should help the community utilize more of the renewable energy generated locally and keeping energy revenues locally. Moreover, we model how such developments will affect the future evolution of the broader UK energy system.

Cross