Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech are developing a blockchain system for P2P energy trading

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Mitsubishi Electric has teamed up with researchers from the renowned Japanese University Tokyo Tech to jointly develop a blockchain-based trading system that can support more flexible peer-to-peer energy trading.

The new system, announced on January 18, aims to support the efficient use of excess electricity generated from renewable energy sources. In particular, it is hoped that the trading system can ensure that the maximum available amount of excess electricity in the market is available to consumers at all times.

Peer-to-peer energy trading configurations allow consumers and prosumers to act directly as buyers and sellers. Mitsubishi Electric and Tokyo Tech have tweaked their blockchain system to reduce the compliance of the new system with high-volume, hardware-intensive computations to optimize matches and handle buy and sell orders more efficiently.

According to the announcement, a distributed optimization algorithm that differs from most blockchain technologies allows client computers to share their trading goals and data, and then “optimally match buy and sell orders with minimal calculations.” What Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech call the “new mining method” not only requires fewer calculations, but can also be performed on a microcomputer server. The four steps of the method are as follows:

“In the first step, information on buy and sell orders with a common trading objective (market surplus, profit, etc.) is shared by computer servers within a specified time frame. Second, each server searches for buy and sell orders that match the common objective in the first step. Third, each server shares its search results. In the fourth and final step, each server receives the search results and generates a new block by selecting trades that best meet the common goal that it is adding to each blockchain. “”

To ensure that the trade is fair, finding the solution for each common goal is done in a decentralized manner – i.e. H. Parallel on multiple computers on which equivalent matches are selected at random.

The flexibility of the system ensures that buyers and sellers can trade above or below the bid prices if the right match is found. Anyone who does not make a trade can also change the terms of their subsequent offer based on the evaluation of the previous offer / bid conditions.

Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech believe that by ensuring that the maximum amount of surplus electricity is available in the market for retail, the cost of sustainable consumer goods such as electric vehicles will decrease accordingly. By proposing a peer-to-peer solution, retail businesses no longer have to react to market fluctuations.

As previously reported, blockchain-based digital energy platforms have been in operation in other countries for some time. For example, the Australian company Power Ledger offers blockchain-based transactive energy solutions that include peer-to-peer energy trading and virtual power plants, as well as trading in emissions certificates and renewable energy certificates.

Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech have announced that after evaluating the system’s functions, starting in April, they aim to market the product as soon as possible.