Conference paper Open Access

An HCI Perspective on Distributed Ledger Technologies for Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading

Scuri, Sabrina; Tasheva, Gergana; Barros, Luísa; Nunes, Nuno

Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), such as blockchain, have been gaining increasing attention in the energy sector, where one of their most promising application seems to be Peer-to-Peer (P2P) energy trading. Several proof-of-concept and pilot projects are running all over the world to test this specific use case. However, despite much work being done to address the technical and regulatory aspects related to DLT for P2P energy trading, our understanding of the human aspects affecting the adoption of this new system is still minimal.
The development of a decentralized energy market poses interesting challenges to the HCI community and raises important questions that need to be answered: do people trust a system which is, by definition, trust-free? How do they perceive P2P energy trading? What are their needs and motivations for engaging in energy trading? Moreover, are people willing to use cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange for energy? And, to what extent is full-automation desirable?
To shed light on these and related questions, we developed and tested PowerShare, a decentralized, P2P energy trading platform. In this paper, we report on our findings from interviews with nine families that have used PowerShare for a month. Motivated by our empirical findings, we conclude by highlighting core aspects for designing P2P energy trading platforms and elaborate directions for further research.

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