How can blockchain help clean energy?
*If you are new to blockchain/ ICOs: before you read this, please read ICOs vs IPOs, which explains blockchain ICOs.*
According to the Satis Group, 80% of ICOs turn out to be scams. Furthermore, 9 out of 10 of all start-ups do not stay the distance either. When assessing blockchain solar energy start-ups, the greatest indicator of success lies in their community, backers, and use cases.
A quick search for blockchain solar energy start-ups tends to find the same names cropping up with world-changing promises. While some of these may be true, they could also be empty words backed up by a PR team.
So with blockchain solar energy start-ups, examine the project’s viability. How will it be used and by whom? Who are the people behind the idea, and what experience do they have? Are there any actual projects? Can you check the code on GitHub?
There were 122 blockchain start-ups in the energy space as of March 2018. With new ones appearing every week. Blockchain energy start-ups raised $322 million between Q2 2017 and Q1 2018.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important blockchain solar energy start-ups.
No article about blockchain solar energy start-ups would be complete without talking about SolarCoin first. Launched in 2014, SolarCoin is a rewards program for solar electricity generation. One SolarCoin equals one megawatt-hour of solar energy production.
SolarCoin is specifically targeted at individual households that install solar panels on their roofs and commercial solar electricity producers. SolarCoin aims to provide the incentivization that is missing to produce more solar electricity globally.
This blockchain solar energy start-up has been around for a few years and has already seen demonstrable success, raising $1.6 million in seed funding last year. Sun Exchange does not trade power but instead crowdfunds solar projects around the globe.
They have several successful projects already completed, including building solar panel roofs in African schools and elephant reserves. Through Sun Exchange, you can purchase “solar cells” that you can allocate to the project of your choice from one on their website.
German-based Conjoule supports peer-to-peer trading of solar energy between rooftop PV owners. But also between corporates and public-sector members. With significant backing from large names, and $5.3 million from investors including Tokyo Electric Power.
Japanese companies are often associated with being forward-thinking. The Tokyo Electric Power Company is no different, taking a major stake in this energy trading platform. They see a growing demand for peer-to-peer energy transactions in Japan in particular.
New York-based LO3 Energy is a blockchain solar energy start-up with a lofty goal. They aim to revolutionise how energy is generated, stored, traded and consumed at local levels through the blockchain. And they have caught the eye of tech behemoth Siemens.
Siemens will assist LO3 Energy to design and build microgrids through blockchain, which allows for local energy trading. LO3 was, in fact, the first project to aim for energy trading on a local level.
WePower works with blockchain solar energy systems and other forms of renewable energy as well. Allowing for peer-to-peer energy credit trading, the company borrowed the idea from existing solar incentive models.
Now they can sell their surplus for WPR tokens. Each token represents one kilowatt-hour of power, which is tradable on the platform. WePower’s primary focus is on larger renewable energy producers of solar, hydro and wind.
There are many important blockchain solar energy start-ups, and far too many to name in one article. But even though blockchain has become the new buzzword for many an industry, it is actually proving to lend itself particularly well to the energy sector.
Just remember to look beyond the long words and elaborate proposals to a real, workable project and solid protocol behind it.
This article is an abridged version of an article originally posted at Coincentral.com (a P27 Partner) under the headline “Top 5 startups in the blockchain solar energy space”.
CoinCentral’s owners, writers, and/ or guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the above projects and businesses. None of the content on CoinCentral is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.