The solar power and renewable energy industry as a whole is growing throughout the world. With countries like Australia, Germany and India setting ambitious renewable energy targets, solar power is our future. Initially we started with solar power systems less than 1kW. Now we have 5 and 6kW systems being widely used in the residential sector. Also, solar batteries are making their way in, with battery storage prices falling every year. So, what is next? Well, it is solar power trading – another way to maximize energy efficiency at the micro level.
What is Solar Power Trading? – A Trend from the Future!
Ever thought about sharing unused solar energy from your rooftops with your neighbours? This new trend, called solar power trading has been growing more and more popular in solar powered neighbourhoods. This is not only supported by the environment sensitive population but also by those who want to save money.
This works in a simple way – if your rooftop produces surplus energy, your neighbours can buy the unused energy from you on an online marketplace. Your panels will be utilised to its full extent everyday and everyone benefits from it. The way this works is different from a normal power grid. Initially, the surplus power generated would be returned to the main electricity grid. This is what we currently get paid as feed-in tariffs. As more and more power was being returned, a new system was required which could transport this energy from energy producing homes to the others homes without being sent to the main grid.
Then came the newer grid technology called ‘blockchain’ by which houses can trade electricity, with a concept not very different from Uber. It is also termed as ‘microgrid’. A solar power producer can upload his surplus energy into this grid and any house that required this energy can download it through the same grid. It could be anyone – a small home, a school, a shop or a community maintained facility, anyone can upload and download this energy.
The Future of Renewable Energy
These microgrids are being set up in many parts of the world. LO3 energy, a startup in Brooklyn have taken part in the trend, releasing their microgrid. Earlier in February, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and GreenSync launched an exchange system called deX (Decentralised Energy Exchange). With the popularity of Solar trading, many climate issues can be solved. It can achieve in increasing uptake of clean renewable energy. Power shortage can be combated and a new source of income is generated for communities with these power grids.