Announced as the new technological revolution, the blockchain technology would probably have the same great impact as the internet.
Blockchain technology is a secure solution for peer-to-peer transactions in a decentralized way. It’s already very widespread in the banking and financial sector and may soon find numerous applications in the energy sector.
The development of small local producers and the emergence of energy consom’actors, lead to a growing decentralization of the energy market which is now organized around central energy sources.
Beyond individual self-consumption, blockchain technology is a tool that encourages collective self-consumption. With this technology, consumers could more easily sell their electricity directly to another consumer without the intermediary of third parties.
With the introduction of the smart contract by the blockchain Ethereum, the self-execution of contracts on the blockchain will provide a verifiable, non-repudiable and cryptographically secure history of automated transactions.
“Bitcoin is largely changing finance. But moving into blockchain energy could be much bigger than Bitcoin” said Lawrence Orsini, the founder of LO3 Energy, a company building an “open-source, cryptographically secure” blockchain to manage transactions across a microgrid.
For the first time in April 2016, in New York, decentralized electricity was sold directly to neighbors through a blockchain system. This set-up demonstrates what a future distributed power grid managed autonomously by a local community might look like. In France, a consortium of Bouygues Immobilier, Microsoft and two blockchain startups are set to test a demonstrator in 2017 in the heart of Lyon’s Confluence neighborhood, where energy can be exchanged between apartments in the same building.
Nonetheless, many regulatory, operational and economic issues remain unresolved for blockchain technology which is still in its infancy.
Also, it makes no sense to use blockchain technology which needs a lot of energy for low power applications: Bitcoin requires 100 kWh to commit a transaction, according to Christine Hennebert, Head of Distributed Systems & Blockchain R&D, CEA Grenoble.
By removing these issues, the blockchain will be able to contribute to the energy transition from a centralized system to a decentralized and distributed energy system based primarily on renewable energies.
Samira, Consultant, Leyton France
 Conference “The Big Block Theory” organized by Blockchain France, April 3, 2017.