Ending energy poverty with solar power — using cryptocurrency
With a focus on rural micro-grid development, two companies partner by leveraging blockchain and Bitcoin to accelerate energy access in rural Africa.
In 2017 the International Energy Agency (IEA) confirmed that decentralized energy systems, and primarily solar, offer the lowest-cost option for electrification across Sub-Saharan Africa. This means that beyond offering an attractive, renewable and practical electricity alternative, solar can unlock critical socioeconomic development globally, improving education, healthcare, safety and human rights conditions across emerging markets.
The challenge is even deeper for projects where off-takers are not “banked,” as is the case for many rural communities in developing regions. Consequently, community-scale mini-grids are often left unfunded, despite their lucrative potential. Communities are then forced to spend more on diesel fuel and kerosene rather than on solar energy.
An example is a partnership that South Africa-based Sun Exchange, recently announced with Kenya-based Powerhive. Through the new joint initiative, Sun Exchange will utilize the crypto-economy to facilitate funding for up to 150 new Powerhive rural mini-grid projects that will provide power to 175,000 people in Kenya.
Funding will be facilitated through the Sun Exchange solar micro-leasing marketplace, which enables individuals across the globe to buy into remotely-located solar projects and earn a return from the power that those projects generate. This means that a person in Tokyo, for example, can use cryptocurrency to purchase solar assets through Sun Exchange, which will be installed into a Powerhive mini-grid in rural Kenya.
Suddenly, it seems entirely feasible that a fully decentralized, blockchain-based global economic system can unlock the full potential of distributed solar power, and finally give way to what once seemed to be a utopian dream: truly universal energy access for every person on Earth.
More info at https://www.pvbuzz.com/solar-power-cryptocurrency/
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