With the advent of Blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and India’s aim to focus on clean energy for generating electricity has open investment gates to a potential of over $100 billion.
Many experts believe that decentralization is a key for India to achieve its goal in clean energy. Decentralized and clean energy has the potential to contribute 10%-15% of India’s energy supply, providing easier access to energy in rural areas and will also contribute to reducing poverty.
In order to provide 24/7 power to all, India needs to adopt decentralized renewable energy (DRE).
India’s power consumption basket
Before we talk about decentralized systems in detail, let us understand India’s power consumption pattern. As of March 2018, India has a total installed power capacity of 333 GW, of which 62.5 GW comes from renewable.
India has an estimated solar energy potential of 748 GW. The government has set a target of 100 GW by 2022 of which only 35 GW has been achieved by June 2020.
Being an agrarian nation, India also uses 30 million (21 million electric and 9 million diesel) pump-sets in the agriculture sector. Over 20% of all electricity in India is consumed by these pump-sets, which is highly subsidized and ripe for disruption by solar. Only about 150,000 solar pumps are in the field today.
To cut down the usage of electric pumps, the government aims to install 2.75 million solar pumps sets with an outlay of $16.2 billion, but many estimates this investment can go over $40 billion, if all-electric pumps are to be replaced.
Similar to kerosene lighting can replace conventional electricity agriculture pumps with solar pumps with negligible additional investments by the government.
Energy systems are going through rapid changes to enable themselves with news technologies such as adopting Blockchain technology. With privatization and focus on AI, new companies have emerged to solve the problem in the energy sector.
First decentralized network of solar energy
Haryana based Nimray is one such company that is working in the solar sector. It offers clean energy to communities of all sizes. It aims to supply both the innovative solar technology and an accessible energy network that allows home energy generators to trade clean electricity profitably with others and that is offered on the basis of a newly developed Blockchain technology that is going to revolutionize the industry.
According to Nimray, today, the solar energy market is dominated by large utility companies that buy solar energy at a low price and sell it through the electricity grid at a much higher price, securing huge profits at the expense of the end consumers and small-scale solar producers.
By using their Blockchain technology, consumers can produce their own electricity and sell any excess at competitive prices to their neighbors via Nimray Network, which creates a freely accessible network for Solar energy trading.
According to a Jaume S. Badia, a UK based renewable energy expert, usage of Blockchain is already happening in a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where several flats with solar panels are able to share and trade electricity with neighbors through the power of Blockchain.
Residents who own solar panels can sell energy to neighbors who don’t have them or to neighbors who may have wall batteries to store power. This latter group can then, in turn, trade it back to the solar power owners, who may not have a way to store surplus energy for night time use.
What is a decentralized system?
A decentralized system is a process that uses renewable energy to generate, store, and distribute power in a localized way. This includes small stand-alone devices like solar lanterns or advanced biomass cooking stoves, integrated solar home systems (SHS) that power multiple devices or appliances for a single household, and smaller generation and storage resources that feed isolated or localized distribution networks (mini-grids or micro-grids).