2 ways blockchain can promote green energy
Last weekend we celebrated Earth Day, a holiday dedicated to protecting the environment and promoting recycling and clean energy. Today, many companies, nongovernmental organizations and private citizens are either investigating or investing in ways to promote and use clean energy.
Blockchain could prove to be a valuable tool in that effort in a few different ways, including energy trading and micro-leasing.
The same technology that supports cryptocurrency trading could be used for decentralized energy trading, as well. For example startup LO3 Energy has developed a TransActive Grid that allows customers to interact with microgrids in order to sell and purchase energy units.
"The service is a way for people to transact peer-to-peer energy attributes," Lawrence Osini, founder of LO3 Energy, said in a previous story on Blockchain Tech News. "One of the inhibitors of moving energy exchange into the market is the cost of transacting the service. The blockchain makes the transaction very efficient."
Also, if users prefer renewable energy sources, they can choose to purchase only solar- or wind-generated energy for their home. And customers who own more energy than they needcan "email those electrons" to someone else on the microgrid, according to Osini.
Other companies are working on energy trading projects, as well. For instance, WePower recently raised $30 million for its platform, which is meant to allow green energy developers to sell future energy production in the form of energy tokens. Buyers are able to purchase this green energy upfront at a lower cost than usual, according to a press release.
The company also provides a transparent distributed open ledger, which records when and in what volumes green energy financed on the platform was produced and supplied to the grid.
One challenge with green energy is that it can be difficult to deliver to developing regions due to a lack of infrastructure investment and resources. Sun Exchange is helping address this issue through micro-leasing.
Customers in developing countries can purchase solar photovoltaic cells for approximately $10 per cell and lease them for installation in businesses, hospitals, schools and other locations globally, according to a press release.
The Sun Exchange rewards solar cell owners by giving them Sunex tokens for leasing their cells. These owners can earn up to a 20 percent return on tokens through the program.
"The biggest barriers to clean energy in Africa are lack of access to financial services, and underdeveloped energy grid," Sun Exchange founder and CEO Abraham Cambridge said in an interview."Sun Exchange solves both these problems by enabling anyone in the world to lease solar panels to off-grid and grid-tied solar energy plants, which gives the end-users clean and affordable energy at no upfront cost. This democratized form of solar project enablement is facilitating radially accelerated micro-grid rollouts, which will connect people to clean energy far faster than is possible through connecting villages to centralized thermal power stations."
Green energy remains a global challenge, but the blockchain, if used correctly, has the potential to provide a global solution, Cambridge said..
"The transformational potential of pairing blockchain and solar power is enormous," he said. "Creating cryptomoney on silicon chips powered by electricity, and then used to finance silicon chips (in solar cells) that produce electricity, creates a positive feedback loop which will result in a solid state, passive economy of abundance, with ownership that can be completely decentralized. The age of wasting scarce and harmful fossil fuels is over; we are finally and totally entering the Silicon Age."
Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for DigitalSignageToday.com and BlockchainTechNews.com. His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.www