Japanese utility Tohoku Electric Power and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions are to collaborate on joint research into distributed energy peer-to-peer electricity trading.

Over the next year, the companies will explore a variety of models involving a variety of technologies, including solar, battery energy storage, blockchain, IoT and artificial intelligence.

In a statement, Toshiba said: “As renewable energy usage expands, and rechargeable batteries become more widespread, customers in the future will likely be able to utilize P2P energy trading to trade the excess energy they generate in their homes through solar energy generation and with rechargeable batteries.

“However, detailed business models for P2P energy trading have yet to be established, and it is unclear what impact an increase in these transactions will have on electrical power distribution systems.”

It added that its work with Tohoku would take “an anticipatory approach to these changes in the business environment”… building new business models that can grow the business domains of the future”.