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A world-first experiment has enabled West Australian residents with solar panels to sell surplus energy to each other.

The experiment, made possible by the technology behind Bitcoin, enabled citizens in Bunbury, the third largest city in Western Australia, to sell surplus electricity to their neighbors for between 5 U.S. cents and 20 U.S. cents per unit.

Under the current policy, consumers can only sell excess electricity back to providers for 5 U.S. cents per unit but when they then need to buy more energy they would pay 20 U.S. cents per unit.

Jemma Green, the chairwoman of start-up Power Ledger who ran the experiment, said the resolution of the experiment demonstrated the need by consumers for greater control of their resources.

Special ‘Blockchain’ software enabled participants in the experiment to see the implications of selling or buying energy at any given period such as how much money they would earn or waste.

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