Emerging Technologies

In this Bangkok neighbourhood, you can buy and sell electricity using Blockchain

The skyline of central Bangkok and the Chao Phraya river are seen during sunrise in Bangkok April 22, 2015. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Electricity generated by each of the four locations will be initially used within that building. Excess energy can be sold to the others through the trading system. Image: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Rina Chandran
Correspondent, Reuters
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Emerging Technologies?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Blockchain is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Blockchain

This article is part of: World Economic Forum on ASEAN

Residents in a Bangkok neighbourhood are trying out a renewable energy trading platform that allows them to buy and sell electricity between themselves, signalling the growing popularity of such systems as solar panels get cheaper.

The pilot project in the centre of Thailand's capital is among the world's largest peer-to-peer renewable energy trading platforms using blockchain, according to the firms involved.

Image: Steemit

The system has a total generating capacity of 635 KW that can be traded via Bangkok city's electricity grid between a mall, a school, a dental hospital and an apartment complex.

Commercial operations will begin next month, said David Martin, managing director of Power Ledger, an Australian firm that develops technology for the energy industry and is a partner in the project.

"By enabling trade in renewable energy, the community meets its own energy demands, leading to lower bills for buyers, better prices for sellers, and a smaller carbon footprint for all," he said.

"It will encourage more consumers to make the switch to renewable energy, as the cost can be offset by selling excess energy to neighbours," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Neighbourhoods from New York to Melbourne are upending the way power is produced and sold, with solar panels, mini grids and smart meters that can measure when energy is consumed rather than overall consumption.

The World Energy Council predicts that such decentralised energy will grow to about a fourth of the market in 2025 from 5 percent today.

Helping it along is blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underpins bitcoin currency, which offers a transparent way to handle complex transactions between users, producers, and even traders and utilities.

Blockchain also saves individuals the drudgery of switching between sending power and receiving it, said Martin.

For the pilot in Bangkok's upmarket Sukhumvit neighbourhood, electricity generated by each of the four locations will be initially used within that building. Excess energy can be sold to the others through the trading system.

If there is a surplus from all four, it will be sold to the local energy storage system, and to the grid in the future, said Gloyta Nathalang, a spokeswoman for Thai renewable energy firm BCPG, which installed the meters and solar panels.

Thailand is Southeast Asia's leading developer of renewable energy, and aims to have it account for 30 percent of final energy consumption by 2036.

The energy ministry has encouraged community renewable energy projects to reduce fossil fuel usage, and the regulator is drafting new rules to permit the trade of energy.

Have you read?

The Bangkok Metropolitan Electricity Authority forecasts "peer-to-peer energy trading to become mainstream for power generation in the long run," a spokesman told reporters.

BCPG, in partnership with the Thai real estate developer Sansiri, plans to roll out similar energy trading systems with solar panels and blockchain for a total capacity of 2 MW by 2021, said Gloyta.

"There are opportunities everywhere - not just in cities, but also in islands and remote areas where electricity supply is a challenge," she said.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Emerging TechnologiesNature and BiodiversityEnergy Transition
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

AI and energy: Will AI help reduce emissions or increase demand? Here's what to know

Eleni Kemene

July 22, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Sign in
  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum