In Germany, the Liberal Democratic Party plans to reward with cryptocurrencies anyone who removes carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The blockchain could, therefore, be a key ally in the difficult task of protecting the environment and improving energy efficiency.
According to the news portal Welt, the Party understood that limiting the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is no longer enough: in order to slow down global warming, the world will have to start eliminating the already emitted greenhouse gases.
It has thus proposed the creation of a new cryptocurrency, called Arbil. The peer-to-peer system reduces costs and increases confidence and security in transactions. Also the United Nations is becoming aware of this, considering that recently its United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change declared it would support a blockchain platform to harness its great potential precisely in order to improve the control and reduction of emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere and increase the search for funds to finance environmental projects.
“Smart contracts – as stated at a recent international conference on the subject by Alastair Marke, general manager of the BCI, specialising in projects involving Africa – could automate the payment of subsidies, making it easier for smaller projects to receive funding and cheaper and less risky for investors.
Applications for carbon credit tokenisation have already been developed to facilitate monitoring, reporting and verification of data for compiling greenhouse gas inventories and credits.
In addition, the tokenisation of electricity produced using renewable sources could mean that anyone installing solar panels could sell their excess energy through smart grids.
The possibility to receive an economic reward would become a profit incentive and at the same time lead to wider use of renewable energy sources. The use of the blockchain applied to the energy sector would allow producing/supplying energy where and when needed, with clear benefits on energy flows, including:
- Drastic reduction of production costs;
- Drastic reduction of transmission costs and related losses;
- Drastic reduction in distribution costs and losses;
- Optimisation of consumption thanks also to IoT solutions.
The data provided by Terna’s “Statistical publications” service show that in 2018 the Italian electricity demand was 321.4 TWh (+0.3% on 2017), 86.3% of which was covered by national production (277.5 TWh: -1.9% on 2017) and the remainder by net imports from abroad (43.9 TWh: +16.3% on 2017).
Gross domestic production, equal to 289.7 TWh, was 33.5% covered by renewables (+25.7% compared to 2017). The current available capacity of renewables is 54.1 GW gross and about 53 GW net. The fact that more and more energy is produced from renewable energy sources makes, for the reasons given above, blockchain technology increasingly central and important for the energy efficiency sector, a sector in which Efforce, the project co-founded by Steve Wozniak, is also active.
One of the most interesting aspects, in fact, is that thanks to blockchain it will be possible to make the electricity grid more democratic: this will bring about the historic change between the current system and the future one, where consumers will become prosumers (those who not only receive energy but also produce it) and where exchanges will be increasingly linked to structures such as smart grids and microgrids.