- Unreliable centralized grid management or utility system which keeps track of your consumption.
- Lack of decentralisation of energy
- Pricing for micro grid energy consumption based on usage
Blockchain allows consumers to produce energy, and to trade it directly with other consumers in a peer-to-peer network.
SolarCoin is a digital currency like bitcoin. The difference with bitcoin is that SolarCoin is not “mined“ by letting a computer work out some computations. It’s mined by producing renewable energy. If your domestic solar panel creates 1 MwH of energy, you receive 1 SolarCoin.
This solarcoin is kept in an online wallet that you can update manually or let it update and earn automatically by, for now, a Smappee energy monitor (soon other energy monitors will follow).
This same wallet can be used for three things:
- to store the coins you create with your solar panel,
- to receive payments for the energy you sell, and to,
- pay for energy you trade with your neighbors.
In fact, you won’t even need to install energy production at your home. It will become perfectly possible to buy a solar panel, install it anywhere and collect SolarCoins.
Another benefit is that the entire transaction remains transparent due to a shared ledger amongst the neighbourhood.
- Blockchain currency issuing agencies
- Domestic users of renewable energy smart grid
- Local public Utilities
- Solar system installers and manufacturers
- Siemens has set up a pilot project in Brooklyn where a mini and smart grid for 10 homes early last year, which is due to expand and include a school, hospital and park this year and potentially the entire neighbourhood by 2018.
- Other companies and entrepreneurs should look at blockchain as a valuable way to share and track utilities.
- Policy for enabling such technology to take flight so that it can reach scale quickly
- 1,613,853.5 SolarCoins have been granted so far, in 41 out of 215 countries