How Can Blockchain Save South Africa From Nationwide Blackouts?
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While it’s a positive thing that electricity access in developing countries is gradually increasing, households connected to the grid usually receive poor quality and unreliable service. On a global scale, more than 200 million homes and businesses are given inferior grid connections. Meanwhile, according to an Afrobarometer survey, less than half of the total South African population has a stable supply of electricity.
Since then, South Africa has been troubled by unpredictable, unplanned power outages that not only last for hours but days as well. Adding to this, they must also tolerate controlled and scheduled electricity shutdowns — load shedding — where power is intentionally apportioned to relieve pressure on the system and avoid its complete collapse. For a few hours each day, electricity will be available and the details of the ration are communicated in advance.
These issues are generally related to the quality and capacity of electrical systems, which can be a product of insufficient generation or a generating mix that is unable to scale up and down to satisfy the fluctuations in demand. Other reasons attributed to the blackouts are the lack of innovation in the nation’s power grids, breakdowns in transmission and distribution lines, and more.
Can Blockchain Technology Help?
Technology is progressing at an astounding pace — with several innovations created to improve human life every day. One great example would be blockchain. Blockchain technology aims to increase transparency through digital ledgers that allow everyone on the network to access the data stored in the blocks.
With blockchain’s decentralized nature, information is kept on every device on the network instead of storing it on a single centralized server. What’s more, blockchain technology has proved its value with several use cases ranging from retail & e-Commerce, healthcare, supply chain & logistics, finance, and now energy. Incorporating blockchain in power grids can be the solution needed to address South Africa’s blackouts, creating ‘smart’ power grids.
With smart power grids, authorities can identify what tools and devices are needed to bring the power grid back to its efficient working condition and operations back to normal. As a result, losses incurred by businesses and the freeze time for companies get minimized.
Apart from these benefits, blockchain-based platforms focusing on solving environmental and energy problems are starting to emerge. For instance, take Megatech. Megatech is an alternative energy supply company that uses blockchain to solve real-world problems.
Furthermore, in an answer to South Africa’s energy problem, MGT offers token holders financial returns on solar plants owned by the company. Project Beta, the company’s first plant, is a 60MW solar farm and will include 100MWh of advanced storage technology to guarantee maximum profitability and the chance to sell green renewable energy at peak rates to blue-chip listed entities.
Despite being a work-in-progress innovation, blockchain technology has a lot to offer to the world. The above is a perfect case to display its positive impacts on the environment and the lives of everyone, especially in South Africa.