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Technological development in the production of alternative energy has sped up the emergence of decentralised systems. In a decentralised energy system, an exchange mechanism (such as SA’s Eskom) links buyers and sellers in order to buy electricity from renewable power projects, then add it to its own generated energy and sell it to consumers. There are, however, technologies being developed that could do away with the need for clearing house in this way.

A distributed ledger technology such as blockchain is an example of this.

The use of this technology would allow small-scale transactions between buyers and sellers to be captured and recorded. In this way, it could facilitate the development of small-scale electricity trading markets. Alongside artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and Big Data, Blockchain has been identified as one of the pivotal technologies – and interest in applying the blockchain technology to energy markets is slowly picking up.

Read the full article by Thomas Wolfgang Thurner in Quartz Africa here.