Imagine if Melisandre could bring Alexander Graham Bell back to life in 21st century, the inventor of telephone, like she brought John Snow back to life in Game of Thrones. Bell would definitely be surprised because he would have never thought in his wildest imagination that communication technologies would be radically disrupted so fast to such an extent that people would even forget one of the greatest inventions of 19th century. Many prominent industries have gone through similar paradigm shifts except energy industry which is still working same as described in blueprint devised by Nikola Tesla in 19th century, starting from generation of electricity from centralized energy grid, and transmission of electricity to passive consumers. There are many reasons to believe that this centralized energy system needs a serious overdue overhaul in order to meet today’s electricity demand in consumer centric manner. I strongly believe that there’s never been a more exciting time to work in the energy industry as its galloping towards decarbonisation, decentralization, digitization and democratization.
Decentralized micro grids offer many benefits over centralized energy systems; centralized energy grid is designed for one directional flows of electricity which is not capable of harnessing full potential of integration of renewable energy technologies; centralized grid is more vulnerable to natural calamities like extreme floods and earth quakes which could lead to power breakouts with no alternatives at hand but creating micro grids would always have some alternative ready to bring life back to normal even if something goes wrong.
If we look at energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables, we could see that something very exciting is happening. It’s not only the way we produce energy is changing but also consumer habits are changing, consumers are becoming prosumers left with extra energy after consumption which brings little or no value at all for them in centralized grid systems; making our present day centralized grids quite ineffective because they were not designed for bi-directional flows of electricity. The idea of decentralized smart grids looks promising for solving this problem but their full potential could only be unlocked if combined with blockchain technology by allowing producers to trade energy in a decentralized peer-to-peer network of energy producers and consumers without the need of intermediaries. Peer-to-Peer trading and electric vehicle charging are few of the myriad use cases of blockchain being deployed in energy sector at the moment, if explored rigorously blockchain has tremendous untapped potential of creating new business markets within energy sector by connecting energy suppliers and energy consumers in ways never possible before.
We have got a vivid roadmap and a compass. Opportunities are limitless because a lot need to be fixed which has not been taken care of, for many decades. Let’s show some proper respect to the generations which are not here yet and our fellow creatures by contributing our part in shaping energy system of the future which ideally should be decarbonised, decentralized, digitized and democratized.