I want to share a new project in the renewable energy space. It’s called WePower, and it’s merging the power grid with the blockchain. Basically, they’re creating a new token on the Ethereum network, called WPR, which represents the future energy of the world. You can think of this project from two different perspectives: the energy consumer, and the energy producer.
- From a consumer standpoint, WePower makes it possible to invest in the future energy production of the market. Each token is backed by one kilowatt-hour of future power, which is a pretty revolutionary concept.
- From a producer standpoint, the platform is also really innovative. Energy producers can auction their future power output to raise funds to expand their production. Then, by bidding below the face value of the energy tokens, investors can capture that spread and earn a profit while helping to grow our energy infrastructure.
WePower has a pretty ambitious roadmap, with a test rollout in June of 2018 in Estonia, then expanding to Australia and Spain by the end of the year.
Blockchain technology in the energy sector?
The Danish energy sector specifically has kind of unique characteristics in that it’s a small energy market, but it has very big visions of decarburizing its grid. The blockchain is relevant in any situation where you’re dealing with decentralized structures. And in energy, those structures are very subtle and so we have to look for things like transactions of energy, but also transactions of incentives and awards which may drive behavior change or the adoption of new technologies and devices. Certainly, the energy sector is very risk-averse and so I would say don’t use blockchain when you can use a database.
That’s kind of rule number one. Understand how you make that decision and think about that framework. The blockchain is essentially helping us to set the rule of the games fair and the same for everyone, so blockchain is just a mechanism enforcing the same protocol relationship. People from the community can check it, can use it and it turned out historically the programs, which are open-source, they’re more reliable, they’re more robust, in terms of business models, they’re actually more simple. It’s new, and there is a lot of unknowns out there.
The protocols we’re working with are second generation protocols, which are energy additive rather than energy reductive, like a Bit coin protocol. Well, what I love about blockchain is that it disinter mediates many of the big guys not just from a banking perspective, but from any sort of large intermediate perspective.