Blockchain and the Energy Future: The Microgrids Part 1

In the first article written by the ZEROCO2 team of the Blockchain series and the Energy Future, which we published in our blog some time ago, we discussed what are some benefits of “blockchain” technology, its basic operation, the potential to transform to the consumer in prosumers and the repercussions that this change would generate in our current energy and economic model.

In this new article, I want to retake the topic but this time I will focus it on another great solution: Microgrids, which together with blockchain can help us build a new energy model.

But what made me write about this solution? This week during my stay in Chile, I was able to be a witness and then read in various news sources the consequences that a bad weather front left in its path. More than 120,000 customers were without power supply for hours and in some areas days throughout the country, something that can be very frustrating, confusing and dangerous in many aspects. But Chile is just another case within the thousands that are happening around the world, especially in recent years as a result of global climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), what we can expect is that the global temperature will be increasingly higher and weather events will be increasingly extreme, such as storms, torrential rains and other phenomena that produce natural and materials disasters.

But despite this very unflattering scenario, not everything is darkness for the millions of people around the world who must endure this type of problem, because thanks to renewable energies, batteries, microgrids and Blockchain, we are witnessing the emergence of new solutions and business models that will help us all to face these great challenges and start the construction of a new sustainable, accessible, safe, clean and without intermediaries energy model, which of course we are promoting, with the collaboration of a group of companies and professionals through the ZEROCO2 Energy initiative, the “dexentralize Project”.

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What is a Microgrid?

“A microgrid is a decentralized electrical network made up of small and different sources of power generation that work in parallel or autonomously with respect to the central network, which makes them a more reliable and efficient electricity supply system, in addition to a greater quality in the electric service, making them safer and more sustainable, which makes them a great solution for urban and rural areas”

Below I share three of its great benefits:

Reliability.

Among the great benefits of microgrids, Electric Reliability is one of the most important characteristics, especially when it comes to blackouts or light cuts caused by intense weather events, such as those mentioned at the beginning of this article. In this aspect a microgrid can keep the flow of energy constant, since before any failure detected the system is disconnected from the central network, giving way to the distributed resources such as batteries and other generating systems, which will support all the users connected to it until the restoration of the service (if necessary) of energy supply from the central network, thus providing a great peace of mind for the user to have the available energy at the time and quantity needed.

Microgrids also benefit the Central Network.

In general, a microgrid, in addition to having the potential to serve as a way of transaction and service for its own connected members, as a support system for the demand or providing an auxiliary support service, also can help among many others to relieve the tension of the central network during the periods of greatest demand that the same electric companies (distributors) could request during these periods. Having a system with distributed resources connected and integrated to the electrical system is a great benefit for the electric companies, all the neighbors and members of the community.

A Microgrid improves the Resilience.

Resilience is a very important feature within the electrical system, especially when we have problems of cuts due to technical failures or caused by the weather. In these cases the capacity of recovery will be worth the redundancy recover quickly before a cut. Depending on how it is scheduled, this recovery can be applied totally or only on the critical infrastructure to maintain a minimum level of operation and services, something very important for example for hospital centers, which cannot afford interruptions in services.

Boosts the Economy.

One of my favorite benefits provided by a Microgrid, is that it can generate a New Decentralized Zonal Economic Ecosystem, where all connected users can generate, consume and share their surplus electricity directly with other users and the central network at moments of demand. In addition to a power outage caused by a storm or natural disaster, a microgrid avoids economic losses because it keeps active the supply of electricity to all companies, organizations and other users generating value. A microgrid does not depend on the energy of centralized generation plants that travel kilometers until reaching the point of consumption, a microgrid boosts the economy since it takes advantage of the potential of generating value from its own members.

A microgrid generates a very high level of security, reliability and resilience, which attracts and drives the development of new businesses, new ventures, communities, factories and a new development pole dominated by Prosumers, a new agent of the New Zonal Economy that through the ZEROCO2 Project we are promoting.

By promoting a “Connected and Integrated Zonal Development Model” (Project ZEROCO2), we are building New Development Poles that will bring together people, groups of people, organizations and businesses, in Zones, where the value created is distributed in a fair and transparent way. Imagine the development potential of these decoupled Zones of the hierarchical structure of the current economic model. Value generation passes from a handful of companies to the community, which is the driving force behind sustainable, healthy and prosperous development.

These are some of the benefits that I will mention in this article, there are others, but I will analyze them in future posts, but before finishing, one could ask, with the high cost generated by the power cuts (whatever their cause) for the economy of the countries and the members that compose it, especially “the people”, Why have not we seen more impulse of this technological solution? Why is the energy model still so persistently centralized (even under renewable generation)?,- High costs? Lack of incentives? We will explore these questions in the next part, since without a doubt, by continuing to analyze the benefits of this and other solutions, these and other questions will be answered on their own. In the meantime, do not hesitate to leave your comments, contributions, ideas and testimonies below.

By Daniel Leonardo Espinoza, Founder ZEROCO2


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