Blockchain in the Energy Sector: How Can Implementing Blockchain Technology in the Energy Sector Help Address the Complexities of the Evolving Modern Energy Grid?

Marcus Albert Benjamin Broman

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

In recent years, blockchain technology has gained momentum in mainstream media with the discourse primarily led by the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Albeit its disruptive potential for widespread use in other sectors, e.g., the energy sector, the research on the area is limited.

The energy sector is experiencing a significant transformation driven by the need for a sustainable, efficient, and resilient power grid to handle modern energy system complexities. These complexities stem from renewable energy growth, distributed energy generation, and increasing real-time energy management demands. The evolving power grid must integrate diverse energy sources, demand response incentives, energy trading, and real-time information sharing while adapting to the challenges of a more decentralized and distributed grid.

Therefore, this paper focuses on the inherent gap in the literature to identify how blockchain technology can address the complexities of the evolving modern energy grid. Working from a critical realist perspective and applying a qualitative approach, this thesis will address how blockchain is situated in the energy market today, what the main hindrances to its inclusion in the energy sector are, as well as giving an outlook on how blockchain solutions will be employed in the future within the energy sector.

Through document analysis and expert interviews, this paper concludes that perceived misconceptions and interoperability are the root causes of withholding the disruptive potential of blockchain technology from being unfolded. Through a modified framework, current state-of-the-art projects are assessed and aligned with prior findings, it is concluded that blockchain solutions will find niche applications in the energy sector.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2023
Number of pages81
SupervisorsManuel Llorca