Public, private actors in Delhi trial blockchain-based solar energy trading

Tata Power DDL, a leading electricity distribution company that serves over seven million residents in North Delhi, is piloting a solar energy trading project together with Australian blockchain firm PowerLedger and the India Smart Grid Forum, or ISGF.

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The pilot, which runs until June, aims to enable the development of distributed energy infrastructure and electronic trading resources that will encourage consumers to become prosumers — consumers who also produce — by selling their excess rooftop solar power in a peer-to-peer marketplace. 

Using PowerLedger’s blockchain technology to provide transparent settlement of energy trades, the pilot will test out various trading algorithms, including dynamic trading, to create an energy auction pool between prosumers and consumers. Grid-connected, distributed energy resources that can directly participate in the P2P marketplace will include electronic vehicle charging stations and battery energy storage systems.

As reported, PowerLedger has previously collaborated on various blockchain-based projects — among them energy trading, renewable asset financing and renewable energy credit markets — with private and government actors internationally. 

Both Tata Power DDL and ISGF are public-private partnerships: the former a joint venture between Indian energy giant Tata Power and the Government of Nation Capital Territory of Delhi, the latter a think tank comprising government ministries, utilities, technology providers and academic researchers.

The president of ISGF, Reji Kumar Pillai, said that the capital city pilot and a similar project in Uttar Pradesh will give Indian regulators actionable insights into what will be needed in order to scale up P2P trading nationwide:

“India is about to delicense power distribution business and make open access to retail customers enabling them to buy electricity from anybody from anywhere. In that scenario, blockchain platform for P2P trading of electricity will be a perfect game changer for the clean energy revolution in the country.” 

Jemma Green, the co-founder and chairman of PowerLedger, claims that blockchain-based prosumer energy trading can help India to meet its renewable energy targets, which include 100GW of solar energy, of which 40GW should come from rooftop solar.