Ikea uses blockchain to build solar power project

SolarVille is a 1:50 scale working prototype of a neighbourhood completely powered by solar energy

Ikea is building a blockchain-powered solar microgrid to “democratise” access to clean energy.

SolarVille, by the furniture giant’s innovation lab Space 10, is a 1:50 scale working prototype of a neighbourhood completely powered by solar energy.

The miniature households generate their own renewable energy using solar panels, while others automatically purchase excess electricity directly from the producer using blockchain technology.

The result is a model of a self-sufficient, community-driven microgrid where people trade renewable, affordable energy between one another according to their individual needs, Space 10 claims.

Where does blockchain come in?

Space 10 says blockchain technology is a vital step in creating a secure and decentralised trading platform for the widespread deployment of renewable, distributed energy resources.

Blockchain technology stores energy transactions and lets people trade directly on a peer-to-peer basis.

The distributed ledger technology is used to log and manage the energy flow—verifying and recording transactions, and self-executing when certain conditions are met.

Not only does this reduce transaction costs, it also increases transparency and security, and lowers the barrier of entry for new actors in the system.

Around 1.1 billion people around the world still have little or no access to electricity.

The lab says it’s an almost impossibly expensive task to reach these people with the centralised energy networks we have in place today.

“Centralised energy systems are often too slow and economically inadequate to reach the billion people who remain locked in energy poverty,” said Bas Van De Poel, creative director at Space 10.

“SolarVille showcases that, when working in tandem, technologies such as solar panels, microgrids, and blockchain open new opportunities: off-grid systems allowing people to leapfrog traditional grid electricity.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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