Thai solar firm using blockchain for power sharing network

Solar power and fintech are working hand in hand in Thailand as BCPG Public Company, a leading Thai renewable energy firm, has begun using blockchain technology in an innovative fashion to enable households to buy and sell the solar power they generate through microgrids, according to a London-based financial magazine

“In Thailand, blockchain technology is being harnessed in a brand new way: to revolutionize the energy market by shifting power production to a decentralized network of small-scale households,” wrote World Finance. “Blockchain technology has received a huge amount of hype over the past few years, but it is only recently that it has started to be implemented in energy markets.”

Founded in 2015, BCPG is a subsidiary of Bangchak Corporation, a traditional energy firm that focuses on fossil fuels. The subsidiary is devoted to renewable and alternative energies and concentrates on generating and distributing solar power. Thailand has made a public commitment to source 25 percent of the country’s power from renewable sources by 2036, and the Kingdom is already the leader in Southeast Asia as far as solar and wind power production.

To encourage the growth and adoption of solar power, the Thai government has liberalized laws and regulations, allowing households and small businesses to install rooftop solar systems and sell excess power back to state energy suppliers. Through the use of blockchain technology, BCPG will help households and small businesses now sell that excess to other consumers as well.

“We want to build a new energy economy. To do so, we started with something quite simple: rooftop solar energy,” BCPG’s President and CEO, Bundit Sapianchai told the magazine.

“In Thailand, we have been bringing solar panels to individuals in both the residential and industrial sectors by ensuring the panels are low cost, while also providing low-carbon energy. Once a community is producing energy with solar panels, BCPG can apply its energy trading platform so that every person can trade their energy directly,” Bundit said.

Blockchain is, in essence, an open source ledger sheet that has mainly been used for financial purposes including the trading of crypto-currencies. Most major banks in Thailand and abroad have been investing in startups, units and projects that employ blockchain technology to speed transactions and reduce costs. But blockchain has the potential for uses beyond the financial sector.

“Blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger, which can be programmed not just for financial transactions, but for everything with value,” Bundit said.