A new platform for selling and trading renewable electricity is on the horizon, and is due to be developed over the next few years with blockchain-enabled software which will enable peer to peer energy trading among citizens, communities and co-operatives.

As part of the Government of Ireland funding for Disruptive Technologies, The International Energy Research Centre has partnered with a number of leading Irish universities and SME’s to develop this disruptive technology platform, which will be known as the Co-operative Energy Trading System.  The fund was launched last week in Cork, and will fund 27 different innovative projects in health, food, ICT and manufacturing.

The main aim of the project is to empower consumers and communities to generate renewable energy in their own premises, or in solar and wind farms and to trade the energy with other communities.  The project will provide an easy to use platform for the energy trading and is expected to significantly contribute to the effort of meeting the national targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and provide for security of supply of energy.

The current electricity system is not flexible or decentralised enough to cope with the expected massive integration of renewables and distributed energy resources over the coming years as demand for electricity increases from electric vehicles and heat pumps.

This Co-operative Energy Trading System (CENTS) will treat all producers of renewable energy as a supplier to an energy cooperative; the cooperative will then manage on their behalf the trading of the energy they produce, using an online system with Blockchain as the distributed ledger of trades.

Project partners include, Community Renewable Energy Supply (the electricity supplier at the center of Community Power), MPower, msemicon, University College Cork, NUI Galway and Dublin Institute of Technology, and the International Energy Research Centre.

More information on the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, can be found at https://dbei.gov.ie/DTIF