Distributed energy grids, enabled by blockchain technology, are moving beyond the drawing board and into the market from the first to the developing world.
The current energy infrastructure in every country is facing a fundamental crisis. In the first world, the grid is outdated, complicated, hard to manage and overburdened by the demand that continues to push capacity. It is also still driven by the economics and infrastructure of fossil-fuel driven energy, making financing and adoption of greener (and even more decentralized) power sources that much harder. Even conscientious customers who wish to move off of fossil-fuelled electricity often cannot literally access green energy. Even if they can pay for it. Self-financing of a personal “green” energy source is also mostly cost-prohibitive. Some governments help finance green roofs and gardens with incentives like tax credits, but consumers need the money to pay for such projects up-front and on a case-by-case often family basis.
This is true even in countries like Germany which are ostensibly far more “green” than the United States. In fact, both organizational and venture capital financing of cleantech energy projects has been uneven for the last decade (outside of hotspots like China). And even there, the focus, particularly when international organizations get involved, is on larger centralized projects that tend to replicate the issues of the older grid concept.
In most developing economies, there are two problems caused by grid infrastructure. What exists already is likely to suffer the same problems of first world models. However the other issue in developing economies, including Africa, is that the grid was never developed in the first place, and financing for the same remains scarce, often diverted, and inefficiently deployed. The lack of other infrastructure, including banking services, also means that customers cannot pay utility bills easily. Why? They do not have access to banks, cell phones, the internet, or any other of the requirements of modern life that electricity creates access to.
Rethinking not only energy sourcing but distribution and financing via blockchain is an idea that has been bubbling in the Cleantech community for some time now.
According to MIT at least, blockchained utility provision is one way to dramatically improve grids if not services. It also presents a compelling model to move the grid into its next obvious, and much greener iteration, while also being able to loop in other kinds of power where necessary.
As the United Nations Foundation has long advocated, the lack of energy stifles income-generating activities in most areas of the world. Pollution from dirty energy sources that are already in operation is also a major health hazard, driver of climate change and a major culprit in contributing to overall environmental degradation. As a way of responding to this pressing problem, the UN has also called for 100% electrification globally by 2030, with the energy coming from renewable sources.
The time, urgency and opportunity have never been better for moving forward into a new world, powered and literally empowered, by blockchain.
ImpactPPA is an early mover in the blockchained, green energy space. It is an Ethereum-based decentralized energy platform with an eye to the transformation of the global energy market. The platform uses blockchain to bring together investors, project initiators and consumers in a direct, responsive environment with expedient results.
Access to energy is key to improving the quality of life around the globe as well as continued economic development. Access to clean energy is the only way to achieve this goal while not tipping world temperatures over a no-return point.
One of the problems faced by the cleantech community, in particular, is financing for such projects. This is as true in U.S. state markets as it is in the remotest parts of the world. Green energy, in particular, is a very attractive energy option as it can be even locally produced on a small scale – and still be highly profitable. But local financing is often prohibitive, if available at all. Once built, at least via traditional means, customers also frequently have trouble paying utility bills – even on a usage basis.
ImpactPPA is designed to be a solution to this problem.
By bypassing traditional financial institutions, and eliminating layers of bureaucracy in obtaining power purchase agreements (the traditional contracts behind such financing), the platform is a peer-to-peer ecosystem which allows green energy projects to flourish while allowing customers to pay for ongoing energy usage on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Apart from providing much-needed green (if not electrical) power sources, ImpactPPA helps mitigate climate change while changing lives.
At the core of the platform is the SmartPPA (or power purchase agreement) – a smart contract where anyone can create a proposal for a clean energy project.
Proposals can then raise funds by the use of the system tokens. Once built, local customers can pay for their energy use as they use it through the blockchained platform.
The goal is that the project reaches a financial state where revenues generated from implemented PPAs flow back into fund new projects.
This is the perfect solution, in other words, for clean energy funds or even individuals, looking for impact investment reach.
ImpactPPA will only use one token. The MPQ Token will be used to raise money for projects. MPQ holders will also be able to vote on proposed future projects considered for funding. This will include, beyond energy projects directly, other infrastructure-building undertakings that include local water purification and sanitation systems, food drops and interventions to address malnutrition.
The GEN Credit will be used by consumers of electricity generated by the projects financed via the peer-to-peer financing of the platform.
What makes this concept even more interesting is that such projects will generate opportunities for both local consumers to pay for their own energy, or have it subsidized by more traditional aid organizations who have themselves been struggling to find a way around precisely the impasse that ImpactPPA now solves.
In its initial phase, the ImpactPPA project will be focussed on bringing in PPAs, contracts and letters of intent for the purchase of renewable energy. The company has already accrued more than 200MWs of renewable energy projects in its business development portfolio. This includes four cities in Somaliland, where 22MW’s of cleantech energy installations are under contract, Haiti, where the first city, Les Irois, was hooked up in early February 2018, a 130MW project in Argentina, and an electrification project in India.
The company aims to become a global platform for raising money for water purification, schools, refrigerations, hospitals and more – all with a clean and renewable source of energy at their core.
What sets ImpactPPA apart, however, is that once financed, such energy will also be available, via remote access to smart meters, on a pay-as-you-go basis to local consumers.
The impact this will have on everything from banking to financing micro-business in turn will be nothing short of remarkable.
For those who are interested in the economic development of still-emerging economies, ImpactPPA is moving in waters where international agencies are still struggling to tread. This is the ultimate “green” if not social impact crypto investment, no matter where you are.
The ideal investor in the platform is an individual or entity that:
- Has the foresight to recognize that cryptocurrency is the next generation of project funding for alternative energy projects
- Recognizes the value of a tokenized energy economy
- Wants to use their resources to directly invest in and impact the development of cleantech and alternative energy projects
- Believes that science can work to address climate change and a lack of access to energy in many places in the world (of whatever kind)
Here are the details of the upcoming ImpactPPA token sale:
Token name: MPQ
Token base: ERC-20 utility token
Token supply: TBA
Token sale begins: April 2018
Token sale target: USD $100 million
Token price: USD $0.35