How India can Leverage Blockchain and AI to Boost Renewable Energy
The Indian Government has set itself the ambitious objective of generating 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 and 275 GW by 2027. India may achieve approximately 76 percent of the target of 175 gigawatts of renewable energy generation capacity by 2022, as it faces myriad challenges per Wood Mackenzie. Renewable sources are expected to contribute to 40% of India’s energy needs by 2030.
There is an imperative need for developing new strategies and models for meeting the swelling demand for electricity in India. Decentralized, clean energy can contribute 10 – 15 percent of India’s energy supply, making it easier for those in need to access energy.
The Indian government is developing a policy that would focus on Industrial Revolution 4.0 and would attach great importance to new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, deep learning and internet of things. The Government has set up a committee to implement a national AI program including robotics and data analysis. Under the AI programme, the government is likely to provide incentives for startups and venture funds conducting application-oriented AI research in different key sectors.
The application of smart ledgers and smart contracts based on Blockchain will be important in the distributed energy production and consumption and in peer – to – peer communication. As historical records cannot be changed and the system becomes more transparent, energy intermediaries would be eliminated and thus the transaction costs would be reduced which further reduced energy prices. Using smart meters, a record of electricity produced and consumed by each user in the grid can be kept on a blockchain with credits/currency allocated to the user for excess power supply and electricity consumption credits.
In order to meet 40 percent of renewable and clean energy demand, many private companies in India have opened their doors in this area and are exploring advanced technologies to reduce renewable energy costs. Utilities in Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh are already working on pilot projects with startups. Also, NITI Aayog has put up a roadmap on national Artificial Intelligence programme. As always, the future is uncertain, but one thing is certain – the way we store and exchange information is changing and the energy market is unlikely to look the same in the coming decades.