AGL is currently undertaking a trial to test whether blockchain technology can assist in creating a mechanism for users to trade surplus electricity generated from rooftop solar panels. This trial will use customer data generated from a previous AGL project involving the use in households of smart air conditioners, batteries and solar panels to simulate peer-to-peer trading, demonstrating what trades would have taken place and the value they would have generated.
It is possible that ‘smart contracts’ could automatically sell excess energy in real time to other users when excess energy from solar panels is generated. The use of blockchain in this way could help individual households to trade their own energy more efficiently, making renewable energy more affordable and better integrated with power grids. This is a relatively novel application of blockchain technology, which is the distributed ledger technology underpinning the digital currency Bitcoin.