Blockchain may put PPAs within reach of smaller councils

A company which uses blockchain technology to facilitate direct renewable power procurement has published a guide for councils looking at sustainable energy solutions.

With coal and gas-fired electricity’s social licence in retreat, and more renewable energy projects coming online, many councils are considering shifting to green power, with councils in large urban centres like Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle and Adelaide striking renewables procurement deals in the past 12 months.

Traditionally, Power Purchase Agreements that supply energy directly are only available to organisations spending more than $2 million annually on power, which presents a barrier to smaller and regional local governments.

Opacity around many carbon offset schemes also remains an issue for many councils.

The solution, according to the WePower report, is simplified procurement processes that facilitate direct relationships with energy producers for organisations spending less than this traditional threshold.

Local governments can participate in a digital marketplace that records all transactions via public blockchain technology, creating a permanent record accessible by independent parties and providing transparency to check if renewable targets are being met.

“An independent marketplace that connects councils directly with green energy generators [can make] a tangible environmental impact whilst buying green energy at competitive rates with full transparency,” the report says.

Queensland councils are already successfully using their collective purchasing power to get the best and most suitable renewable energy deals.