Challenges and prospects for negawatt trading in light of recent technological developments

Wayes Tushar, Tapan K. Saha, Chau Yuen, David Smith, Peta Ashworth, H. Vincent Poor, Subarna Basnet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


With the advancement of the smart grid, the current energy system is moving towards a future where people can buy what they need, can sell when they have excess and can trade the right of buying to other proactive consumers (prosumers). Although the first two schemes already exist in the market, selling the right of buying — also known as negawatt trading — is something that is yet to be implemented. Here we review the challenges and prospects of negawatt trading in light of recent technological advancements. Through reviewing a number of emerging technologies, we show that the necessary methodologies that are needed to establish negawatt trading as a feasible energy management scheme in the smart grid are already available. Grid interactive buildings and distributed ledger technologies, for instance, can ensure active participation and fair pricing. However, some additional challenges need to be addressed for fully functional negawatt trading mechanisms in today’s energy market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-841
Number of pages8
JournalNature Energy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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