Traditional generating stations that produce baseload power measured in hundreds of megawatts are either closing or struggling, unable to compete with inexpensive power produced by solar, wind, or natural gas-burning plants. To handle these multitude of distributed, small-bore sources, a new smart grid is developing, where small buyers and sellers of electricity may find a marketplace. But for that to break into the mainstream, a new system linking disparate generators, buyers, and sellers with fast and secure transactions still needs development. Many industry experts suggest that this new system could well be based on blockchain, a digital technology commonly associated with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. This article takes a closer look at a few pilot projects moving in various market segments.

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