In 2016, 33% of the world’s energy usage was powered from oil and 28% from coal. Just 3% of energy use came from renewable sources and yet more than 8 out of ten people globally agree that the world should be fully powered by renewable energy. So where is the disconnect?
Though growing slowly, the steady rate of renewable energy source growth is a glimpse into the future that may not be as far off as it seems. Like with many industries, blockchain has the opportunity to make big changes. Technology is giving consumers more options and control over their energy consumption and its sources, but the utility companies still control the market. The simple truth remains that not everyone has the opportunity to go green. Solar panels for residential use fetch a pretty penny, but it’s the utility-structure that prevents households from making that choice for themselves. Regulated markets allow power companies to control the entire power industry, essentially exercising a monopoly over the generation, distribution, maintenance, and of course, billing, of energy. Power corporations raise prices in spite of their already high profit margins and have even been known to exercise the use of “certificates” to market they use of coal and other nonrenewable energy sources as “green.”
As digital and energy technologies continue to grow alongside one another, consumers will eventually have the power over their own, well, power. Take a look at this infographic below from Lition for more on the evolving relationship among energy, blockchain, and consumers, and the opportunities these relationships are creating.