How we generate and use energy is a vital part of dealing with the climate crisis, and local micro-generation could be critical. But for it to work the energy network needs to change fundamentally, and users need to be able to supply energy to the grid as well as take from it.
This presents enormous challenges: the grid needs to change, and so do the systems that measure the flow of energy and compensate micro-generators for their contributions.
Our cleantech team has come up with ways to use blockchain, big data and apps to manage consumption, generation, measurement and payments. We have advised energy firms, transport companies and communities on fast-changing regulation, the impact of new market entrants and the use of data trusts.
The team's work has enabled domestic users of Sönnen Community's batteries to sell electricity to the grid. It has helped blockchain developer Electron to move towards creating a real-time register of the UK's distributed energy generation resources, which would transform the UK's energy system. The National Grid is now piloting the use of Electron's system for its half hourly settlement process, and plans to use it for all its electricity trading. All of this activity could boost the transparency and efficiency of the energy system, and could encourage small domestic generators to play their part in reducing our use of carbon based energy sources.