What is Power Ledger?
Power Ledger is a P2P (peer-to-peer) energy trading platform that utilizes blockchain technology. It allows renewable energy to be bought and sold by market participants without the need for a middleman.
Power Ledger Ltd was officially formed in May 2016 and is based in Perth, Australia. Power Ledger states that its mission is based on the democratization of power.
Technology is rapidly changing the way power is generated. Increasing amounts of people are now producing electricity at home through different methods such as the use of solar panels.
The energy market is currently set up for the energy systems of the past which comprised of large-scale power stations that supplied the masses.
We now have a more complex hybridized market where energy flows in multiple directions. Power stations vary dramatically in size from small installations on people’s rooftops to massive power plants.
Power Ledger is developing solutions that can deal with this complexity. Currently, the energy market is not geared up to buy to homegrown electricity just like supermarkets are not geared up to purchase homegrown tomatoes.
The Power Ledger platform is looking to make renewable energy accessible to everyone by allowing producers to sell their excess power locally. Therefore those who cannot afford their own solar or renewable installations can still purchase cleaner greener energy.
It also provides market participants with more incentives to invest in renewable energy. Through Power Ledger, a landlord could charge his tenants for electricity directly and get a return on the investment made in putting solar panels on the roof.
Power Ledger works through the installation of hardware and a user-friendly app called FuseBox. Participants trade a unity called SPARKZ which is backed up by a blockchain bond called POWR tokens.
Power Ledger uses blockchain technology to enable peer-to-peer energy trading in a trustless environment. This means the system does not rely on a central player that has control, therefore, avoiding bureaucracy and excessive fees. This also makes the system less vulnerable to attack as it has no single point of failure.
Power Ledger has its own blockchain called ‘Ecochain’ which was developed in-house. Ecochain was built on the Ethereum platform for its smart contract functionality and excellent development support.
Blockchain technology provides a real solution to the current needs of the energy markets by making them more efficient. Using the blockchain to allow peer-to-peer trading means payments can be settled instantly and as electricity is consumed closer to where it is produced you have less line loss.
Power Ledger raised AUD $34 million in what was Australia’s first ICO. However, unlike most ICOs Power Ledger had early success in executing pilot programs in both Australia and New Zealand.
This included developing and trialing Australia’s first peer-to-peer energy trading network in August 2016 in Busselton. Power Ledger also worked with New Zealand’s largest energy network business, Vector Ltd to trial the world’s first peer-to-peer blockchain-enabled energy trading platform on a regulated distribution network.
Power Ledger is working with an increasing amount of partners which include energy providers, property developers, and universities. These partners include Western Power, Indra, Sunseap, Curtin University, Access Housing, and Nest Energy.
Power Ledger Today
As of now, in 2020, Power Ledger has multiple active projects spread across the world including in Australia, Thailand, Japan, and the USA.
Some of Power Ledger’s most recent projects partners include the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS), which is working towards the launch of a ‘Renewable Energy Certificate’ marketplace for US markets – streamlining the buying and selling of energy.
Earlier this year, Power Ledger also partnered with one of Italy’s leading green energy companies, Alperia SpA, to run an energy trading, origin tracking, energy measurement and energy verification trial.
The next steps for Power Ledger will include the roll-out of an Australian solar trial, named RENeW Nexus, to power peer-to-peer energy trading, which is being trialled in 48 households in Western Australia – one of the first ever decentralized energy trading marketplaces.
The Power Ledger team includes blockchain experts, full-stack developers and energy experts who are needed for this ambitious project. This team includes:
- Jemma Green – Jemma has a Masters degree, two postgraduate degrees from Cambridge University and 15 years’ experience in risk advisory and finance. She’s also an independent councilor for the City of Perth, the Chair of Climate-KIC Australia and founder of the Global Blockchain Business Council.
- David Martin – David has almost 20 years’ experience in the electricity industry, having held executive positions at two State-owned electricity companies.
- John Bulich – John is a director & Co-Founder of Ledger Assets which specializes in blockchain development, specifically in work revolving around the commercialization of blockchain systems.
- Gov Van Ek – Gov is a co-founder of Ledger Assets with John Bulich. He also an investor and has a background in systems architecture and design.
- Marc Griffiths – Mark has more than ten years of experience as an ex-Goldman Sachs developer. He’s worked on several projects which use smart contract and blockchain technologies including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Power Ledger Tokens
Power Ledger operates a 2-token system where both POWR & SPARKZ tokens are part of the ecosystem.
The SPARKZ token is how the platform records the movement of electricity between buyers and sellers and is added to or removed from the participants’ wallet accordingly.
Effectively this means that the buyer is receiving the electricity almost at the same time as the seller is receiving the payment.
SPARKZ represents the value of the energy traded and are pegged to the relevant fiat currency for each trading jurisdiction. For example, in Australia, one SPARKZ equals one Australian cent.
The POWR tokens are the fuel which powers the ecosystem and makes it work. POWR tokens are needed to be able to generate and trade SPARKZ tokens. POWR tokens also act as a bond backing for SPARKZ tokens guaranteeing that they have value.
POWR tokens can be purchased from crypto exchanges such as: Binance, Bittrex and some others. There is a supply of one billion POWR tokens, and as more participants trade peer-to-peer on the platform, the more constrained the supply of POWR tokens becomes, therefore, determining the price.
Power Ledger is a fascinating and ambitious project that demonstrates how blockchain technology can be utilized to bring about positive change in society.
An energy trading platform provides a solution to the needs of a rapidly changing energy market. With increasing amounts of people producing electricity at home, Power Ledger allows people to trade excess energy locally.
The platform effectively gives consumers and producers of electricity more choice and helps ensure they get the best deal.
Power Ledger is still a young project and there will undoubtedly be some challenges along the way as it works towards its goal of the democratization of power. Energy markets are highly regulated, and this is not going to become mainstream overnight.
However, Power Ledger has a highly qualified team with the skills and experience required to give them a good chance of success. They have also have many successful projects showing that it works and are well-capitalized from the AUD $34 million raised in the pre-sale and main sale.
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