Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Exchanges

Research Highlights

- We develop a real-world prototype of a decentralized market for solar energy

- Field deployment in a Swiss town with 37 participating households

- Evaluation of technical, market-related, and behavioral aspects

- Repeated coverage by Swiss media



Distributed energy resources (DER) like photovoltaic (PV) and wind power are gaining importance due to their environmental benefits and falling costs. The volatility of these intermittent resources is a challenge for the grid, where supply and demand of electricity must match at all times. During sunny hours, rooftop PV panels typically produce more electricity than the owner household (‘prosumer’) consumes at the time. While prosumers receive a remuneration for feeding surplus electricity into the grid, those feed-in tariffs are falling in most regions, making self-consumption more attractive.   



We build a real-world prototype of a microgrid in which solar power is traded within a local community in Switzerland. Using blockchain technology, electricity produced from local rooftop panels can be sold directly from household to household on the lowest grid level, withoutthe utility company as intermediary. The project evaluates different blockchain architectures, technical feasibility, different market designs, and participants’ interaction with the user interface. In a later project phase, flexible loads (electric boilers / batteries) will be added as autonomous agents that react upon market price fluctuations. 



The system has been deployed in the field in December 2018. The team is currently evaluating the first results.

Selected publications

Work in Progress



The project is funded by the Swiss Federal Ministry of Energy

Date: 2018 - 2020


Sandro Schopfer, Verena Tiefenbeck, Liliane Ableitner, Anselma Wörner

Academic Partners: University of St. Gallen (Arne Meeuw, Felix Wortmann, Rolf Wüstenhagen, Moritz Loock), Energy Science Center at ETH Zurich (Christian Schaffner), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Alexander Denzler, Arthur Gervais) 

Corporate Partners: EW Walenstadt, Sprachwerk, Supercomputing Systems, Planar AG, Cleantech21


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