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Consumer demand for blockchain-enabled peer-to-peer electricity trading in the united kingdom: an online survey experiment

16 October, 2019

Consumer demand for blockchain-enabled peer-to-peer electricity trading in the united kingdom: an online survey experiment

Michael Fell

David Shipworth

Research paper  

Michael Fell, Alexandra Schneiders and David Shipworth

Peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading could help address grid management challenges in a decentralising electricity system, as well as provide other social and environmental benefits. Many existing and proposed trading schemes are enabled by blockchain, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) relying on cryptographic proof of ownership rather than human intermediaries to establish energy transactions. This study used an online survey experiment (n = 2064) to investigate how consumer demand for blockchain-enabled peer-to-peer energy trading schemes in the United Kingdom varies depending on how the consumer proposition is designed and communicated. The analysis provides some evidence of a preference for schemes offering to meet a higher proportion of participants’ energy needs and for those operating at the city/region (as compared to national or neighbourhood) level. People were more likely to say they would participate when the scheme was framed as being run by their local council, followed by an energy supplier, community energy organisation, and social media company. Anonymity was the most valued DLT characteristic and mentioning blockchain’s association with Bitcoin led to a substantial decrease in intended uptake. We highlight a range of important questions and implications suggested by these findings for the introduction and operation of P2P trading schemes.

Publication details

Fell, M.J., Schneiders, A. and Shipworth, D. 2019. Consumer demand for blockchain-enabled peer-to-peer electricity trading in the united kingdom: an online survey experiment. Energies, 12(20): 3913. doi: 10.3390/en12203913

Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash

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