The promise of peer-to-peer trading? The potential impact of blockchain on the actor configuration in the Dutch electricity system

M.C. Buth (Corresponding author), A.J. Wieczorek, G.P.J. Verbong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This paper considers the potential of blockchain technology to empower distributed and decentralized local electricity markets. Although blockchain has gained considerable attention in the last few years as a facilitator for new electricity markets, no attention has yet been given to its potential influence on the configuration of the actors in the electricity system and its ability to transform the existing system. Based on a social network analysis, this paper investigates how blockchain can influence the actor configuration of the electricity system in the Netherlands. After describing the Dutch system, we compare the existing with the potential future system’ actor configuration and the corresponding expected shifts in functions and network position of the actors. We conclude that although many functions are likely to remain and new central authorities may be formed, the impact of blockchain does not seem to be as disruptive and decentralizing as may be expected. This study provides first contributions to the ongoing discussion about the potential of blockchain to disrupt and reshape the electricity system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-205
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Volume53
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Actor configuration
  • Blockchain
  • Decentralization
  • Electricity
  • Energy
  • Social network analysis
  • Transition

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