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RP3033u3: Cost-benefit analysis of carbon emission from the upscaling of Blockchain based P2P energy trading

Project leader name: 
Professor Greg Morrison
Project status: 
Current
Project period: 
09/2018

Projects RP3033 and RP3043 have seen the establishment of living labs at White Gum Valley (WGV) and the smart cities and suburbs grant has enabled the world’s first development featuring peer-to-peer (P2P) trading of renewable energy across the grid and shared alternative water systems (also featuring P2P trading). RP3043 is an upscaled project of RP3033, in terms of the spatial scale and the number of participants involved.

Blockchain technology and P2P trading have been widely discussed across climate change policy community and been applied in many different climate-related sectors, from climate investment to carbon pricing. With the falling price of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, the number of households with PV is increasing, thereby P2P energy trading becomes the most promising applications that can be supported by Blockchain. The transition from project RP3033 to RP3043 experienced an upscaling process of P2P energy trading in City of Fremantle. RP3043 project in particular has investigated on how to efficiently implement Blockchain technology for P2P energy trading including the upsides and downsides of the technology. However the evaluation of its environmental impact has not been considered. The cost and benefits of Blockchain system and its environmental impact are the important research issues.

Western Australia, as the first government allowing P2P trading, is currently collecting high level measurements and (IoT, AWS) data and the first example of P2P trading of energy across the grid, globally. However, although an optimistic view on the energy saving from P2P trading exists, little is known about the cost-benefit of carbon emission from the upscaling of P2P trading between total energy saved from grid and the energy consumed by the computation to support Blockchain operation. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyse the cost-benefit of carbon emission from the upscaling of P2P energy trading.

The CRCLCL’s contribution:

This utilisation project will enhance City of Fremantle’s knowledge on social and environmental impact of upscaling P2P energy trading by providing for the quantitative analysis evidence from smart energy data from the WGV and the beyond WGV projects. CRCLCL funding will be used for the researcher (Dr Xin Liu) to analyse the variation of energy saving under different scales, and to conduct the cost-benefit analysis. Dr Xin Liu is a spatial scientist and is currently working on the large data from the WGV monitoring infrastructure to test P2P trading of energy and water. In the proposed project, the spatial characteristics, e.g. spatial upscaling, of the energy and water data will be analysed using filtered data from meters in WGV and across Fremantle. The data will be sourced into an AWS (Amazon Web Service) server and delivered into an API (Application Programming Interface) from where the de-identified data can be sent to the researchers and approved stakeholders. These data will also be analysed by another CRCLCL funded researcher (Dr Ponnie Clark) from a view of Blockchain operation perspective. Dr Ponnie Clark is a computational scientist and is current working on the improvement of Blockchain efficiency for P2P energy trading. In the proposed project, the total energy consumed by the computation to support Blockchain operation will be calculated based on the large data from the WGV monitoring infrastructure.