Verv tackles UK energy prices with pioneering blockchain-based AI peer-to-peer trading solution

Sarah Dunsby

Source: ©Photoshot

Government grant awarded to support full-scale simulation using advanced AI

Verv, part of Green Running Ltd, today announced it has developed a blockchain-based peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading solution for its smart home energy assistant.

The energy trading solution will allow consumers who have renewable energy supplies and battery storage to sell surplus power directly to neighbours who may not have it. Critically, this will improve access to low carbon electricity for those who cannot currently afford renewable technologies.

Verv developed the blockchain-based solution, named Verv 2.0, because homeowners with renewable energy sources only use 30 per cent of the energy they generate. While battery storage technology improves this to around 60 per cent, there is still excess energy which is being underutilised. Verv’s P2P energy trading solution aims to tackle this problem by utilising the excess energy to improve access to affordable low carbon electricity for all households in the UK.

The solution, that uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) predictions to trade electricity at the best price, will be simulated across the UK after receiving a £250,000 grant from BEIS’ Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. The grant comes as the UK government announces plans to move towards a smarter and more flexible energy system - one that helps people to save money on their energy bills and encourages investment in energy storage technologies.

Verv will use the BEIS-backed simulation to help inform Ofgem regulation in the UK around P2P energy trading, which is currently only used in Germany, Australia, and Canada.

“Improving access to low carbon electricity at affordable prices is at the core of our mission,” said Peter Davies, CEO and founder of Verv. “We’re excited to be pioneering technology that could impact the movement towards a smarter and more flexible energy system in the UK – one that puts consumers at the heart of the grid.”

The energy trading solution uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) predictions to trade electricity on blockchain technology at the best price. Verv’s patented machine learning predicts what energy is going to be needed in a home by mapping appliance usage knowledge against historical behavioural trends. It is also pulls environmental factors from cloud cover and opacity to predict how much power will be generated for homes with solar panels.

The high frequency at which household data is sampled – over a million times faster than standard smart meters – allows supply and demand to be anticipated in advance. This means consumers will get the best possible electricity prices, in the same way the foreign exchange market works. 

Verv is also working with the UCL Energy Institute’s LoLo CDT in Energy Demand as an industrial partner on a PhD studentship on blockchain applications in energy.

Prof. David Shipworth, who is leading UCL’s research on blockchain applications in energy said, “Verv is a global leader in the high frequency electricity disaggregation and the application of machine learning methods to energy demand analytics. Combining this expertise with the transaction and authentication capabilities of blockchain creates what could become a key component in delivering cheaper and more sustainable energy to customers.”

This new blockchain-based P2P solution would be delivered to the current Verv home energy assistant via a software update following the new Ofgem regulations.

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