Blockchain Energy

Blockchain Energy

Placing everyday citizens in charge of a co-created Energy Future.

October 26, 2022

4 min read; 676 words

Tags: Energy Policy

Author: Daniel Van Rooyen

Vertically-integrated utilities have always sat in the middle of the energy system. They decided where and when to build generating capacity; they decided how to bridge the distance between generators and loads; they have kept the energy systems in balance. However, a global technological revolution has altered the relationship between centralized power authorities and consumers. The booming market in Distributed Energy Resources (DER) like solar photovoltaic systems (PV), batteries, microgrids and embedded networks has moved the power balance from central authorities to the edges of the grid, to where citizens have control.

Power Ledger brings the revolution into the mainstream by using a model for energy trading that removes power from central players and places everyday citizens in charge of a co-created energy future.

The Technology

The Power Ledger Platform is the ecosystem that enables interoperability between diverse market management and units of electricity (kWh) through pre-purchased tokens. The Power Ledger Platform provides a transparent governance framework that allows the ecosystem to seamlessly interface with energy markets around the globe, bringing innovation and a wide range of network benefits to consumers. This approach enables the ecosystem to achieve the dynamic agility needed to adapt to various regulatory structures and is scalable for applications within any current or future regulatory environment.

This dynamic agility allows application hosts and customers to have market power in any transactive arrangement within the ecosystem. This market flexibility is facilitated by deployment of a dual token ecosystem (POWR and Sparkz) operating throughout its two blockchain layers.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain distributes trust throughout a network without a central intermediary needing to track, verify, and approve the digital exchange of value. The notion of authorizing trust from a central intermediary currently underpins both private and government institutional structures. However, this is proving to be costly, slow, and vulnerable to attack. The blockchain overcomes these issues by operating as a decentralized distributed database, maintaining a continuously growing list of records called blocks.

Dual Token Ecosystem

Power tokens are the frictionless blockchain tokens that allow Application Hosts and Participants access to and use the Platform (like a limited software licensing permission). They will serve as the fuel of the Power Ledger ecosystem and help to facilitate low costs and better returns on electricity by: Providing governance and consumer protection through Smart Bond technology Facilitating access to use the Platform Providing loyalty rewards to Participants Contributing and connecting with renewable energy charities and organizations

Sparkz tokens are issued against escrowed POWER tokens via a Smart Bond and used by the Application Host to onboard its customers. Application Hosts are entities and businesses that run an Application on the Platform. For example, a utility company using the Platform will be an Application Host, as is an EV-charging services business. A Decentralized Autonomous Organization can also become an Application Host.

Why Society Needs an Energy Trading Platform

It is not just network service providers that benefit from maintaining the relevance of one of our most important social assets. The people that have the most to lose in the face of falling network utilization are the people that have the least ability to influence their exposure to rising network costs and the impact on grid-supplied energy. The financially and socially marginalized renters, the significant number of tenants living in group housing developments, and even those whose homes are oriented in the wrong direction or are exposed to shading from nearby buildings or trees, are the people who will bear the impact of falling network utilization if we do not find a way to incentivize prosumers to stick tight to the network. Unlike the centrally-managed power systems of the past, the future of the energy system will be co-created by the prosumers and investors that will decide where and when to install DER.

Ultimtaley, the Power Ledger Platform provides a transparent governance framework that allows the ecosystem to seamlessly interface with energy markets around the globe, bringing innovation and a wide range of network benefits to consumers.

Daniel Van Rooyen is a sophomore studying Economics and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania.