India’s most populous state to launch blockchain-powered solar energy trading

Uttar Pradesh (UP), the most populous state of India with over 200 million inhabitants, is testing a blockchain-powered solar energy trading platform.

Two government-owned entities - Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) and Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) - will run the first pilot project with few select government buildings with rooftop solar in Lucknow city.

Lending the tech assistance are Australian blockchain startup Power Ledger and India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), a public-private partnership initiative of India’s Ministry of Power for accelerated development of smart grid technologies. Both the firms will help UPPCL and UPNEDA carry out the pilot.

“The pilot project will demonstrate the feasibility of energy trading through blockchain from rooftops with solar power to neighboring households/buildings,” said Reena Suri, executive director at ISGF, adding: “Power Ledger’s platform integrates with smart meter systems to enable households to set prices, track energy trading in real time and enable the settlement of surplus solar transactions in real-time through smart contracts executed on blockchain.”

Phase one of the pilot project is expected to be completed by March 2020; the results of which will be evaluated to make appropriate regulations to promote peer-to-peer solar energy trading in UP. Power Ledger said its platform has already been deployed in several countries, including the U.S., Japan, Australia and Thailand, among others.

India has been taking several initiatives to embrace blockchain technology. Just last week, the country's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said it is preparing a national blockchain strategy, considering the potential of the technology and different use cases in several sectors including banking and trade finance.