### Blockchain Technology Revolutionizing Energy Trading
#### A New Frontier in the Energy Sector
The longer-term potential of blockchain technology in the energy sector is enormous. It is set to transform the way we produce and trade energy at a local level. With the increasing number of consumers generating their own power through rooftop solar panels, the blockchain’s capacity to process a large volume of transactions at a low cost could make peer-to-peer energy trading a reality.
Consumers currently have limited options when it comes to selling their surplus electricity back to suppliers, mostly in the form of reduced bills. However, according to experts like Morris, there is a potential future where every electricity-using, storing, or producing device could trade energy with others, creating local-level markets for energy trading based on real-time price data.
#### Overcoming Challenges
While there is undeniable momentum in the energy blockchain space, there are obstacles on the path to realizing its full potential. The wider adoption of technologies such as smart meters is crucial, as only a fifth of UK homes currently have them. Additionally, concerns have been raised about the energy consumption of blockchain, with the bitcoin network projected to use as much energy in 2018 as the entire country of Austria.
However, these challenges are not insurmountable. The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) has stated that its blockchain at a commercial scale will only use as much energy as a medium-sized office building, thanks to a less energy-intensive algorithm for verifying information on the blockchain.
#### The Energy Industry’s Aversion to Risk
One significant bottleneck to the implementation of blockchain technology in the energy sector is the industry’s aversion to risk. Joanna Hubbard, chief commercial officer of energy-blockchain startup Electron, compares innovation in the energy sector to open-heart surgery on a living patient, emphasizing the need for caution when dealing with critical national infrastructure.
Blockchain technology is poised to bring about innovation in the energy sector while balancing the need for safety and reliability. It is expected to revolutionize the way we produce, consume, and trade energy in years to come.
This article was written by Charlie Burton, senior commissioning editor at GQ. For more great stories from WIRED, visit their website.