Can Blockchain Technology Power the Electricity Grid In The Future?
Earlier this month, under its “The Future of Everything” vertical, The Wall Street Journal described how AI is developing the power grid. The Journal states artificial intelligence is “the key to keeping the lights on.”
The article demonstrates how power companies are “turning to AI, drones, and sensors to curtail outages, save money, and help operate an increasingly complex electricity grid.”
Moreover, by doing so, they cut the recovery time from hurricane-related outages nearly in half in just a little over a decade. Although these improvements are just the start of how AI will maintain the electricity grid of the future, blockchain-enabled artificial intelligence will be a linchpin of the global electricity infrastructure. It’s simple to envision how this will work out.
Solar Panel Prices Collapsing The Cost of Electricity
The energy economy of the future will be sustainable and zero-carbon. The cost per kilowatt-hour of solar energy had fallen below that of gas and coal by 2018. Solar panel costs have gone hyperbolic in the downward direction since the 1970s. Solar prices that were orders of magnitude below 1970s levels fell off dramatically again, in the last 12 years.
The Electricity Grid of The Future
So what purpose do blockchain and artificial intelligence have to perform in this? If you comprehend the trend lines, solar is going to get very affordable. So cheap that the electricity grid will not be a one-way channel from plant to end-user.
Instead, it will be a distributed ecosystem of electricity users or producers. Those who do not utilize all the energy they generate from their solar roof tiles and solar driveway will push it onto the grid. Those who spend their surplus will purchase it from them for a fee.
How Blockchain Will Manage The Power Grid
All of these constant micro-transactions for electricity will be arbitrated and logged by blockchain-powered DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). Electricity will become so inexpensive that only micro-transactions will be up to the task of handling the energy economy of the future.
As bitcoin is so electricity-intensive to develop, the Bitcoin economy is sensitive to variations in industrial energy costs. In that, the crypto industry has already noticed the intimate relationship between monetary units of account and electricity.
And with Ethereum, we’ve seen how it’s possible to build distributed, autonomous artificially intelligent systems to handle any digital complex according to a set of proposed rules. That would involve a more sophisticated electrical infrastructure. Blockchain will control the energy economy.
You’ll pay automatically for the energy you utilize, and automatically get compensated for the energy you produce.