One of the world’s most populated regions is turning to blockchain in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint.
The northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is about to embark on a massive program of utilising the technology to govern what could become one of the largest solar energy projects on the planet.
The territory has a population of more than 200 million and currently relies on a network of carbon-intensive fossil fuel power plants to provide electricity across its vast 94,000 square miles dotted with several large cities, which are all currently in the grip of a serious air pollution problem.
Local authorities have resorted to halting all construction work and have urged farmers not to burn crops over the coming months in a bid to curtail the contribution to overhanging smog in built-up areas.
These problems are a regular occurrence throughout Uttar Pradesh, prompting the government to seek a new solution to delivering energy by turning to blockchain-controlled solar power.
Two state corporations – the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) and Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) – are set to deliver the pilot scheme that could be rolled out across the entire region.
The agencies will be establishing a scaled-down version of the project in Lucknow on the rooftops of several government buildings.
Providing the governance technology will be Australia-based blockchain start-up Power Ledger, which will be working with the India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF).
“The pilot project will demonstrate the feasibility of energy trading through blockchain from rooftops with solar power to neighbouring households/buildings,” said Reena Suri, executive director at ISGF.
“Power Ledger’s platform integrates with smart meter systems to enable households to set prices, track energy trading in real time, and enable the settlement of surplus solar transactions in real-time through smart contracts executed on blockchain.”
Each organisation will be pooling results by the end of March 2020 before looking at expanding the project to other towns and cities before eventually rolling it out across the whole of Uttar Pradesh.