An innovative Australia start-up, Power Ledger, recently announced trials using a new blockchain technology (also developed by the Australian start-up Ledger Assets) to buy, sell or swap excess solar power capacity.
The trial, to be carried out in Perth and across south-west Australia, means people may soon have the power to buy, sell or swap excess solar energy with anyone connected to the Western Power network.
“Just as Airbnb and Uber have up-ended the hospitality and transport markets, Power Ledger has the potential to change forever the way we buy and sell energy to power our homes.” — Jemma Green, Co-Founder Power Ledger
Behind the trial is the fact that today’s centralised power grids that power the vast majority of homes and businesses globally are expensive, surprisingly inefficient, and cause pollution. Prices for solar panel-generated energy have fallen to about half of the price that residents commonly buy from central power grids today. If everyone could simply source power from their own rooftops or neighbourhoods, this problem, among many others, would no longer be an issue.
“For many consumers, the decision to put solar panels on their roofs wasn’t just about saving money or saving the environment, it was an investment decision. The ability to now sell their excess energy to other customers represents the return on their investment,” — Jemma Green
Power Ledger uses a customised, “permissioned hybrid blockchain designed and developed in Australia by Ledger Assets.” Its blockchain uses Proof-of-Stake mining for security and energy costs, as well as powering its miners with “solar power making it the world’s most eco friendly and sustainable blockchain.”
The benefit is that peer-to-peer trading is both data and power intensive making the “sustainable blockchain” solution uniquely suited. Since Proof of Stake mining requires more trust in people than bitcoin’s blockchain does, Ledger Assets has come up with a hybrid solution to offer the best of both blockchains in one implementation.
Power Ledger is partially owned by Ledger Assets, and both are based in Perth, Western Australia.