Smart energy start-up Verv has completed the UK’s first ever energy trade using blockchain, as part of a community solar project backed by Ofgem.
The firm completed the transaction last week, which saw residents of the Hackney Banister Estate in east London trade 1kWh of solar power between buildings.
It’s part of the city-wide Repowering London project, which aims to use blockchain technology to usher in a new era of community energy that enthusiasts say will lower bills and cut energy waste.
The transaction took place on Verv’s trading platform, which is using smart meter systems in residents’ flats on the estate to calculate exact energy demand profiles for individual homes.
Any excess solar energy generated by the estate’s rooftop solar array can then be sold to residents in neighbouring buildings, bypassing the central wholesale market.
“Our ultimate vision is for homes to be able to generate enough electricity to power themselves through renewable energy and local battery storage, and then have the opportunity to sell any excess energy directly to their neighbours – empowering consumers to become true ‘prosumers’,” founder Peter Davies told BusinessGreen last year.
Blockchain is an encrypted ledger technology, and energy experts hope that it could one day be used to automatically and securely trade energy among local communities. But significant regulatory hurdles stand in the way to using blockchain technology in this way on a large scale.