Interview with Dr. Jemma Green. Co-Founder and Chair of PowerLedger ($POWR)
This time I had the pleasure to interview Dr.Jemma Green. Co-Founder and Chair of PowerLedger. A project aiming to create a new energy economy built on blockchain.
How would you describe the main pillars of the company?
The three main pillars of the Power Ledger platform are transitioning to low-carbon, low-cost energy, the decentralisation of energy and energy networks resiliency and security. The global charge towards a distributed energy system is being pioneered by Australia, the USA and Europe.. Historically we were supplied by centralised, large power stations, a long way from where that energy was being consumed. Consumers just got what they were given. But with the rise of renewable energy resources, more and more consumers are taking control of their own energy requirements. Since the system was modelled for only central players to feed the energy supply, consumers producing energy don’t get fair value for their investment. The Power Ledger Platform allows consumers to receive the benefits of these investments, either by selling their excess energy through our Peer-to-Peer Trading Application or by contributing to our Asset Germination Events, where consumers buy, hold and trade fractional ownership of large renewable energy assets such as a battery or solar farm, using our Platform.
What’s the role of the tokens at Power Ledger project?
POWR and Sparkz are the two tokens of the Power Ledger Ecosystem. There are quite a few roles for POWR tokens. For starters, the application hosts that use the Power Ledger Platform have to buy POWR tokens on public exchanges to enable them to receive Sparkz, which are a tokenised representation of the value of energy traded. Secondly, Power Ledger also needs to buy its own tokens from exchanges and distribute them to Green Energy Producers to incentivise renewable generation. Thirdly, Consumers have to buy POWR from public exchanges to be eligible to take part in our crowd-funding for renewable energy assets, called Asset Germination Events, which are due to launch this year. In unregulated energy markets, consumers need to buy POWR from exchanges in order to trade electricity on our platform with Sparkz. Sparkz are different to POWR in that they’re pegged to the lowest denomination of fiat in each trading jurisdiction. For example, 1 Sparkz would be 1 Australian cent which means platform users aren’t left exposed to volatility within the crypto market.
About the team and supporters, what are your strengths?
Our team is incredibly experienced. On our board, for instance, our Managing Director Dave Martin has 20 years experience working in the energy industry, and our co-founder Jenni has over 30 years. Two of our other co-founders, John and Gov, co-founded an Australian blockchain company specialising in the creation and commercialisation of technical and commercial blockchain systems called Ledger Assets. Personally, I’ve got more than 15 years experience in finance and risk advisory, I’m the chair of Climate-KIC in Australia and a founder of the Global Blockchain Business Council — and that’s just the board! Every individual in the team brings with them a breadth of insights from their time in the energy, blockchain, business development and marketing fields. I also think the fact that we have a working platform is a strength of ours. We’ve completed successful trials of the platform with Vector in New Zealand and, most recently, Origin Energy in Australia. We’ve got some great partnerships locked in with Tech Mahindra in India, BCPG in Thailand, LISD in Europe as well as a Government-funded Smart Cities project in Fremantle and more on home soil. We’re moving beyond the trial phase and into real-world applications which is very exciting. As for our community, they’re fantastic. We’re pleasantly surprised every day by how involved and supportive of the project they are. When we have new partnership announcements, they’re the first to share it and they’re always reaching out with suggestions for the platform and potential partnership opportunities.
Thinking about the future, do you have any roadmap with relevant upgrades?
Our focus for 2018 is our Asset Germination Events and outreach from the community around wanting to participate in the funding, development and ownership of community-scale energy generation. They’re events where POWR token holders can purchase a fraction of ownership of a renewable energy asset, such as solar, wind or battery farms, and be allocated its revenue according to its share of the asset and even trade their ownership with other POWR token holders. Someone could buy 1% of a solar farm and then get 1% of the income the asset generates with the blockchain being the asset and transaction register. Asset Germination Events present enormous potential for developing countries and also countries impacted by natural disasters to assist in rebuilding assets. We’re currently working on the financial, legal and commercial frameworks and will have more details for the community later this year. Another thing we’re working on is our electric vehicle charging platform. In an Australian first, the White Gum Valley development in Fremantle, Western Australia, will use the Power Ledger Platform for Electric Vehicle payment settlement using real-time metering data, the collection of data, and user identification. The benefit of this service is the delivery of a more efficient and user-friendly electric vehicle charging experience as well as a greater range of options for consumers, energy retailers and charging station managers.
How do you plan to track the amount of energy sold by a prosumer (generator of energy), in order to pay him the right amount in Sparkz and POWR?
The software uses pre-existing infrastructure, such as smart meters, which tracks all energy imported and exported from the dwelling. The API is fed directly to the Platform where trades occur in real time. The system knows who exported and imported the energy, creating a virtual marketplace.
Will the Sparkz token be tradable on exchanges or only or your own platform?
Sparkz won’t be tradable. Technically speaking, Sparkz are pegged to local currency to represent credits and debits in the system. If you import energy, you are deducted Sparkz and if you export energy, you earn Sparkz. It’s electricity you’re trading. Sparkz are the tokenised representation of the value of energy being traded.
Evaluation of the current scenario for Power Ledger the energy industry on the blockchain ecosystem.
In October 2016, Bloomberg published a report called ‘Gridchain: will blockchain work in the energy industry’ which identified Power Ledger as a leader in the space. We have the first-mover advantage, but we’re excited about all forms of innovation in the blockchain and energy space. The traditional energy industry is curious about blockchain and we’ve had no shortage of demand from utilities. There’s a change currently underway in the energy industry, more renewables and grid defection, for example. Network operators need to find a way to keep people from defecting from the grid and retailers need to find ways of connecting with their customers, so we’re helping them achieve that. In addition to reducing transaction costs, the Power Ledger platform ensures that the existing energy system is optimally used, with minimal wastage. It’s important for us to communicate the realities of the technology and implement it on a commercial level rather than just proof of concept. Our projects with Tech Mahindra in India, BCPG in Thailand and the White Gum Valley and Smart Cities projects in Fremantle are all real-world examples that demonstrate the variety of ways the platform can be implemented.
You can buy/trade PowerLedger $POWR here: tiny.cc/binance-ex
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