TransActiveGrid: When Neighbours Become Energy Providers

A neighbourhood in Brooklyn now manages its own micro-grid, allowing residents to purchase solar energy directly from their neighbours.

Autor*in Terri Kafyeke, 07.07.16

A neighbourhood in Brooklyn now manages its own micro-grid, allowing residents to purchase solar energy directly from their neighbours.

Renewable energy is becoming increasingly widespread, and cheaper. That’s good news, considering the fact that we urgently need to cut our dependence on fossil fuels if we wish to avoid irreparably disrupting our climate.

A new peer-to-peer energy sharing community could help make New York greener, one roof at a time. The TransActiveGrid project is based in Brooklyn, and is the fruit of the cooperation between LO3 Energy and ConsenSys.

The concept allows residents with solar panels on their roof to sell energy directly to their neighbours, without the administrative or financial burden of a middle man. The power goes directly from one house to another and payment happens with blockchain, a system that allows for the secure and transparent record of online transactions.

“If you produce energy far away, there’s a lot of losses, and you don’t get the value of those electrons. But if they’re right across the street, there’s a lot of environmental and system efficiency that’s being realized from being very close to one another.”

Lawrence Orsini, founder of LO3

Beyond the environmental benefits and the community-forming aspect, microgrids also present an important advantage: resilience. Microgrids are connected to the traditional grid and can receive power from it, but in case of an emergency, they can function in ‘island mode’ and tap into the local energy supply. This ensures continuous access to electricity, regardless of natural disasters or other incidents.

Find out more about TransActiveGrid in the clip below.

For more about blockchain and the extraordinary role it could play in making our world more socially and economically sustainable, check out our article: Blockchain: A Digital System For Real World Sustainability.

GiveTrack: Tracking Your Charity Donations on the Blockchain

The nonprofit BitGive is developing a platform that allows you to make donations in bitcoin and trace your money all the way from your wallet to the charity project.

Simon: The Simple Solar Power Station For Inner-City Balconies

For homeowners there are plenty of ways of plugging into solar power, but for apartment dwellers the situation is often much trickier. But for people in Germany, portable solar panels for your balcony might offer a pretty nifty solution.

Blockchain: A Digital System For Real World Sustainability

It's been called "one of the most important scientific achievements of the last 100 years" and "the distributed trust network that the Internet always needed and never had." So, what exactly is blockchain technology and how does it work?

Trine’s Crowd Investing in Solar Projects Helps Tackle Global Energy Poverty

Crowd investing platform Trine lets people invest small amounts of money in solar energy systems for off-grid communities. Successful projects mean a return on your investment, and people around the world gaining access to clean electricity.

Solmove: Will German Cars Soon Be Driving on Solar Roads?

The German startup Solmove has developed a system of glass panels embedded with solar cells that can be used to cover roads and generate energy. It's the latest step in solar road technology, and looks set to give a boost to the electric car market too.

Me SOLshare Ltd.
SOLshare: Peer-to-Peer Solar Energy for the Neighbourhood

The social startup SOLshare gives people in rural areas of Bangladesh access to energy that's both cheap and clean - and also supplies them with an extra source of income.

A Solar-Powered Trip from Amsterdam to Paris in 30 Minutes

When Elon Musk launched the idea of a fifth mode of transportation, Hyperloop, it was met with enthusiasm, then scepticism. Since the unveiling of Musk’s concept in 2013, a lot of progress has been made. With real-life tests in the Nevada desert and the upcoming Hyperloop Pod Competition, Musk’s design seems to be finding its way into reality.

France Drafts New Law to Cover Roofs with “Green Panels”

Rooftops in France are going green! The French government recently passed a new law to mandate all new buildings that are built in commercial zones to cover their roofs partially with green plants or solar panels.

Mine, Yours, Ours: The Sharing Economy

From couches and apartments to bicycles and cars, all manner of personal items and possessions are now in circulation as part of the booming sharing economy.