Business / Finance

New Blockchain Energy Startup Power Ledger Raises $17M in ICO

Energy startup Power Ledger raised $17M in ICO and are about to launch a new blockchain based energy trading system called ‘Asset Germination’ – We get details on this new decentralised blockchain energy trading system from Jemma Green, Co-Founder & Chair of Power Ledger

Sep 18, 2017 | By Jonathan Ho

If blockchain and cryptocurrencies were developed to wean us off government backed national currencies, think about new Energy Trading startup Power Ledger, as a new blockchain based energy company designed to take full advantage of the renewable energies rage.

Not only eco-friendly, renewable energies have been taking root in countries like Australia and most of Europe, as a means of energy independence where a household might typically consume less electricity from the traditional power grid and thus, lower their utilities bill but for many households, they can generate enough energy surpluses which can essentially be sold back to traditional energy suppliers for a profit.

However, all this takes place on the pre-existing power grid, that is to say, that true independence is not possible, yet. Enter Power Ledger. Blockchain-based energy trader Power Ledger is a distributed ledger for distributed energy markets that has a platform and applications already in use. Users also have the chance to develop further applications to be deployed on the platform, furthermore, this platform will enable people to buy and sell their power without going through the traditional power grid.

New Blockchain Energy Startup Power Ledger Raises $17M in ICO

Power Ledger was formed in May 2016 in response to two major problems in the energy market that only the blockchain could solve:

  • Declining utilisation of electricity networks, which could be maintained with a marketplace for distributed energy assets and associated transactions underpinned by the blockchain- ‘Peer to peer trading across networks’
  • Low penetration of renewables in apartment buildings, where a shared ownership and allocation model for microgrids could be provided by the blockchain- ‘Peer to peer trading in buildings’

On Sunday, September 3rd, the Perth-based Power Ledger launched its initial coin offering (ICO) of altcoin POWR tokens, selling 100 million POWRs in public sale, raising $17 million in their cryptocurrency ICO.

Power Ledger had developed a series of world-leading blockchain energy applications, such as our P2P energy trading application that allows businesses, such as Utilities, to host trading on the Platform. Their technology enables the sale of surplus renewable energy generated at residential and commercial developments (including multi-unit/multi-tenanted) connected to existing electricity distribution networks, or within micro-grids. Power Ledger puts the power to manage the energy economy into the hands of consumers, while maintaining the value of existing distribution networks. Meanwhile, electric vehicle charging to be added to the system in the next few weeks.

When Jemma Green, Founder and Chairperson of Power Ledger informed us of a new blockchain based energy trading system called ‘Asset Germination’, we decided to sit down with the ground breaking executive to get the lowdown.

Power Ledger Co-Founder Jemma Green pictured here with Richard Branson

Power Ledger Co-Founder Jemma Green pictured here with Richard Branson

Interview with Jemma Green, Power Ledger Founder & Chairperson

What is ‘Asset Germination’?

Power Ledger is on the cusp of developing an all new energy trading system based on blockchain called ‘Asset Germination’; essentially the fractionalisation of ownership of renewable assets using blockchain, which would allow a solar farm to sell small fractions of ownership to investors. Imagine buying 1% of a solar farm, you would then receive 1% of the income the asset generates with the blockchain as both the asset and transaction register.

What are you most passionate about in your career?

I’m passionate about building Power Ledger and the team we’ve put together into something that will truly transform the future of energy systems as we know them today. We’re committed to empowering communities to generate their own renewable energy in a secure environment- one that allows them to take control of their energy distribution by decentralising the energy market. This can be best achieved through the transparency of the blockchain; it creates a clarity between producers and consumers when it comes to the management of their energy supply, ensuring the security of an automated transactional environment.

I heard you are having a Token Generation Event. Can you tell us what that is about?

Power Ledger is in the middle of its Token Generation Event (TGE), where we are selling 350m tokens out of the 1 billion that we have instamined, as outlined in our whitepaper. As part of our pre-sale, we sold 190m of these tokens for AU$17m at a set price.

As of Friday 8th September, Power Ledger commenced an uncapped public sale of the remaining tokens, which means the price will be determined by the amount of funds pledged divided by the amount of remaining tokens. The sale will go on for four weeks.

Why has this peer to peer movement become so popular?

The internet revolution has given us many ways of sharing information, but distributing it in a controlled way has always been elusive. The blockchain introduces a way to ensure there’s only one true, unalterable copy that can be passed between peers.

So it’s like Bitcoin for energy?

More or less. Our POWR token is our very own cryptocurrency that will let homeowners and businesses sell excess energy generated from their rooftop solar panels to neighbours, without a middleman taking a cut.

So will we all be using POWR tokens to buy our energy in the future?

Power Ledger holds onto the POWR tokens as a sort of limited licence for the application host to use the trading platform.  As more application hosts use the platform and as more consumers trade more energy, the need for more Sparkz will drive the need for and in turn value of POWR tokens.

Consumers will buy Sparkz from their application host and trade these for energy from prosumers (energy customers who generate electricity from rooftop PV for example).  The prosumers redeem these for cash from their application host. Sparkz are transactive tokens that reflect the value of energy. To get a pool of Sparks, application hosts surrender POWR tokens to Power Ledger in return for the same value of Sparkz.

How will you get past all the regulation within the industry?

The regulatory hurdles were not drafted to stop P2P and were in fact drafted at a time when P2P wasn’t possible.  Government frameworks emerged around the model of big, noisy, loud power stations. What we’ve got now is a completely different model — one that is sympathetic with urban development.  Governments support  a nascent solar industry and  Australia ticks all the boxes when it comes to the conditions necessary for distributed energy to thrive. Nearly every state in Australia has a deregulated energy market that bars utilities from holding a monopoly over generation, distribution and retail. This gives customers the flexibility to explore innovative and competitive options.

What are some of the biggest opportunities for consumers?

By advancing the role played by energy consumers, we aim to elicit an energy market that is both open and competitive. We have identified that, as consumers install batteries in their homes, they are less likely to distribute less electricity out across the network.  This in turn creates problems for the network businesses since their use is reduced. Power Ledger allows both consumers and network businesses to trade interchangeably, thus increasing momentum of the energy market. The result is prospected to be an efficient market that can deliver the greatest value for the consumer’s investment in energy technologies.

Is there anything you would like to share with the readers of LUXUO?

Thank you very much for the interview and if you don’t mind I would like to finish with a small shout-out: If our project sounds like something you’d like to be involved in, please join our token sale, which is open for just another 3 weeks. You can visit Power Ledger’s website for more information on us and our token sale, all our ICO documentation can be found here.

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