There has been interesting news out of Brooklyn in the United States. In a neighbourhood known for a passionate love for local goods such as handcrafted beers, small-batch designer shoes, and organic vegetables, something phenomenal is occurring.

In a wealthy segment of the area, a dozen or so photovoltaic (PV) arrays have been set up along rooftops, wired into an ever-growing network. Known as the Brooklyn Microgrid, this solar-powered grid is allowing local residents and business owners to sign up for a virtual marketplace that allows local solar energy producers to sell their excess power to buyers in Brooklyn, often to people who live a single door down.

At the time of this article, the project includes fifty participants who are essentially beta testing the platform. The solar power trading system is built on Blockchain, which is the same technology that comprises the backbone of the infamous Bitcoin virtual currency, along with many other inventions. At the root of the project is a desire to create a p2p (peer-to-peer) energy trading marketplace, demoing it at a small, localized level for further implementation in other parts of the country—as well as other countries outside of the United States entirely.

If the project turns out to be successful, this might shape the way that we pay for our utilities in the near future. What if you could, with reasonable ease, shop for a variety of different private providers of green energy in your area? It would make the market much more competitive, being able to select from a wide choice of different sellers. Blockchain provides inherently high security, which ensures that enterprise-class businesses and small businesses alike will continue to harness the technology for decades to come.

Being able to complete secure transactions and indeed create your own business based on the idea of sharing solar power is innovative. It would entirely cut out the middleman and undercut the way that people in most countries purchase power for their homes and business facilities.

Audrey Zibelman, the former chairwoman of New York’s Public Service Commission, the authority that regulates utilities in the local jurisdiction, had the following to say: “Community members can work individually and collectively to help meet demands in an efficient way.”

It’s garnered wide support from people like Zibelman and other industry experts. With any hope, the project will turn out to be a great success and will help to further combat the looming threat of climate change.

Would you like to see something demoed in your neighbourhood similar to what is being tried in the United States? There have been a number of forum posts and comments online indicating a willingness for Australians to have an open marketplace for buying and selling excess power, but implementation is difficult and requires technically-skilled people. At least there is some hope for the project!

What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below, and we’ll feature the best comments submitted to the site!

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